New York's 100% smokefree law is an astounding success for health and for business. The results of the 2006 Zagat Survey further support this truth. According to Zagat Survey founder Tim Zagat, the smokefree law has helped to make dining experiences, no matter the fare, more enjoyable. In fact, roughly 60 percent of the surveyors say they would dine less at restaurants and 58 percent say they would frequent bars less often if they were smoke-filled.
In addition to patron surveys, the body of scientific research in both New York City and the state as a whole show that smokefree laws do not harm business.
In 1999 a study published in the Journal of Public Health Management Practices concluded that New York City's original 1995 smokefree ordinance did not have an adverse effect on business.
New York City's comprehensive smokefree ordinance took effect on March 30, 2003, followed by a statewide smokefree law that took effect in July 2003. Contrary to the alarms raised by the hospitality and tobacco industries, hospitality industry sales and employment have not decreased in the wake of smoke-free regulations passed in New York State.
An October 2003 Zagat survey found that the new smokefree policy was popular with diners and that "the city's recent smoking ban, far from curbing restaurant traffic, has given it a major lift." This anecdotal evidence was supported by results from a report issued by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and two reports issued by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. [Report 1] [Report 2]
The study by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, published in the June 2003 issue of Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, found no negative economic impact on restaurants or hotels in four New York counties and New York City due to clean indoor air laws. The study used taxable sales and employment data as its measures.
In July 2003, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that data from the New York Department of Labor showed that employment in New York City's restaurants and bars has increased by about 1,500 seasonally adjusted jobs, amounting to an absolute gain of nearly 10,000 jobs since the implementation of the Smoke Free Air Act. The increase between March and June of 2003 was slightly larger than the increase seen during the same period of 2002.
On March 29, 2004, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the findings of a report titled "The State of Smoke-Free New York City," a one-year review of the economic and health impact of the law. This report found that business tax receipts in bars and restaurants had increased since enactment of the smokefree law, that employment had also increased, and that compliance was high.
In November 2004, the New York State Department of Health released a comprehensive one-year review of the state's smokefree law.
In July 2006, the New York State Department of Health released two reports: The Health and Economic Impact of New York's Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) and Smoking Cessation in New York State.