Alcohol sales in Savannah aren’t hurt by smoking ban, analysis finds | The Augusta Chronicle

2
Jun

Alcohol sales in Savannah aren’t hurt by smoking ban, analysis finds | The Augusta Chronicle

Alcohol tax revenues from Savannah, Ga., whose bars went smoke-free in 2011, increased slightly more than sales taxes overall compared with the year before the ban went into effect, according to a data analysis by The Augusta Chronicle.

Though that doesn’t directly reflect what happened to bar business in Savannah, those pushing a similar ordinance for Augusta bars say the analysis shows that the smoking ban didn’t hurt. Opponents such as Augusta Commission member Wayne Guilfoyle said that more years of data would be needed to gauge an effect and that the issue is really about the infringement on individual rights.

One owner whose bar went smokeless voluntarily in January said that initially seemed to help business and that overall the reception has been good.

Restaurants and other places that might attract people under age 18 went smoke-free under a statewide ban in 2005, but bars and other places where adults congregate were exempted. Since then, cities, including Savannah and Athens, have banned smoking in bars and other places. An effort to add Augusta bars failed last year.

via Alcohol sales in Savannah aren’t hurt by smoking ban, analysis finds | The Augusta Chronicle.

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