Texas Economic Data

A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that municipalities that were late adopters of smokefree bar and restaurant ordinances were not more likely than early adopters to experience negative economic impact. The authors wrote that, "Consistent with earlier studies, bans do not significantly affect bar and restaurant sales or establishment level alcohol tax expenditures." (Nikaj, S.; Miller, J.J.; Tauras, J., "Over time impacts of smoke free air ordinances in Texas: NBER Working Paper No. 22352," National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2016.)

An economic analysis of sales in eight West Lake Hills, Texas, restaurants from 1992-1994 found that the total sales of the restaurants did not decrease after implementation of a smokefree ordinance. (Centers for Disease Control (CDC), "Assessment of the impact of a 100% smoke-free ordinance on restaurant sales: West Lake Hills, Texas, 1992-1994," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 44(19): 370-372, May 19, 1995.)

A study published by the Texas Department of Health in March 2000, analyzed the economic impact of clean indoor air ordinances in four Texas cities (Arlington, Austin, Plano, and Wichita Falls) on restaurant revenues using sales taxes as a measure; the study found that "clean indoor air ordinance implementation had no detrimental effect on restaurant sales, either in total or as a proportion of total retail sales." (Hayslett, J.A.; Huang, P.P., "Impact of clean indoor air ordinances on restaurant revenues in four Texas cities: Arlington, Austin, Plano and Wichita Falls 1987-1999," Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Disease, Injury and Tobacco Prevention, March 21, 2000.)

In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published the results of a study that found no decline in total restaurant or bar revenues occurred in El Paso, Texas, after the city's smoking ban was implemented on January 2, 2002. ("Impact of a smoking ban on restaurant and bar revenues - El Paso, Texas, 2002," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 53(7): 150-152, February 27, 2004.)

In October 2004, the Dallas Restaurant Association commissioned a study by Clower and Weinstein, which found that a smokefree ordinance had a negative economic impact. A critique of the research methods used by Clower and Weinstein found "significant flaws regarding the study design and conclusions." The Clower and Weinstein study was used to dissuade the Houston City Council from adopting a 100% smokefree ordinance. Advocates need to be aware of the study and the critique, in order to counter it should it appear in their area.

In February 2009, a study conducted by the City of Houston found that it's smokefree air ordinance had no economic impact on business. "It's reassuring that we did the right thing. We protected workers who often don't have a say in where they can work," said Houston Mayor Bill White.