Non-smoking bars are a hit in the US

Smoke-free bars and restaurants in the US have been a success with customers
and staff, claims anti-smoking lobby group Ash.

This is in response to arguments by the UK tobacco and hospitality trades
that introducing them here could cause a loss of trade.

A study in Los Angeles of compliance with California’s smoke-free law found
that it rose from 46 per cent to 76 per cent in freestanding bars between 1998
and 2002, and from 92 per cent to 99 per cent in bar/restaurants.

The number of staff observing the non-smoking rule also rose sharply during
the same period, from 86 per cent to 95 per cent in bars, and from 97 per cent
to 99 per cent in restaurants.

Barely six months after the introduction of the smoke-free law in New York,
the city has witnessed a significant upturn in hotel bookings, and a rise of
almost 10,000 jobs in the hospitality sector between March and June, Ash

Deborah Arnott, director of Ash, said: "These studies show that
smoke-free laws are popular with both the public and staff, and that compliance
increases over time."

"Voluntary smoking restrictions are not enough," she added.

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