The Positive Impact of Smoke-Free Restaurants

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,000 non-smoking individuals die each year from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke and over 35,000 non-smokers die each year from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke. However, for some individuals, these statistics mean nothing and they would still prefer to light one up after their meal in their favorite restaurant. The truth of the matter is not only does preventing smoking in restaurants assist in healthier living, but it can also improve the restaurant’s profits and atmosphere.

First of all, by banning smoking in restaurants, the owner of the establishment is already reducing his insurance rates. Insurance companies will charge higher premiums, simply due to the fire and health risks associated to smoking.

Secondly, by preventing smokers from lighting up in the establishment, the restaurant owner will also be saving on replacing smoke damaged curtains and drapes, furniture damaged by dropped ashes, as well as cleaning bills. There are times, however, that items will not be able to be fully cleaned and will need to be replaced. The cost savings on this alone can be enormous.

The establishment owner will also save costs on employment if it is a non-smoking facility. Generally, a restaurant worker who works in smoke all day or evening is more prone to colds and respiratory infections and the result will be absenteeism. Productivity will also increase when the workers are in a smoke-free environment. There have also been cases that there have been unemployment, disability, and worker’s compensation benefits given to workers due to their exposure to secondhand smoke while working.

When a restaurant goes smoke-free, the atmosphere immediately improves. There is no longer the smell of ashes and smoke and people seem to relax more. While the restaurant may first lose some of their smoking patrons, they will soon be replaced by non-smoking patrons. A poll taken in New York, established that of over 29,000 diners polled, approximately 96% of them stated that they were going out to eat just as much, if not more, than before the smoking ban was introduced.

While most restaurant owners may at first stand tall on the right-to-smoke issues, once they have researched the costs saved by banning smoking in their establishment, they will soon change their minds. Just the basic savings of health care and insurance premiums will more than cover a few lost patrons. Add this to their lessened cleaning bills and the increasing non-smoking patrons and it will soon be discovered that they will not only survive in the restaurant business, they may even increase their profits.

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