Saturday, July 03, 2010

ClearWay MN dusts off an old "study" which tried to claim no employment harm due to smoking bans in Minnesota

ClearWay MN has strong-armed nearly every media outlet into re-publishing this old 2009 "study" precisely because it misleads, exaggerates, and quite frankly lies about the facts.

Contrary to this "ClearWay MN study's" findings however, smoking bans in the land of 10,000 lakes were the catalyst which so far has produced 400+ hospitality closings in Minneapolis / St. Paul and surrounding Minnesota area (anyone who claims that closing 1/3 the total number of liquor licensed hospitality establishments in the Twin Cities didn't eliminate jobs is smoking something):

How could their findings be so contrary to the truth you ask? Well the study's author Liz Klein clears that up in her emailed response to me last year:

"If you read the release, you'll note that our study used employment in hospitality businesses, not business closure. In addition, the research was conducted during 2003 to 2006."

So the answer is the study did not take into account the 399+ hospitality closings and estimated 10,000 job losses after smoking bans were enacted here. But even more important, the study ended long before Minnesota's statewide smoking ban even went into effect which was 2007. Therefore, this "study" cannot purport to measure the effect of smoking bans on hospitality was merely old, irrelevant propaganda pure and simple.

(Note: 3-4 years before Minnesota's statewide smoking ban Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties had smoking bans in place. More than half the state's population resides in those Twin Cities regions, so any "study" which claims that MN hospitality revenues were already in decline prior to our statewide smoking ban isn't telling you about one very key point.....the Twin Cities already had smoking bans in place; and those numerous local smoking bans led to numerous hospitality closing and revenue losses before the statewide smoking ban.)

Even Minnesota lawmakers who wrote the smoking ban law knew their actions would eliminate is actual text inserted into the bill:

c) "Dislocated worker" means an individual who is a resident of Minnesota at the time employment ceased or was working in the state at the time employment ceased and:

(4) has been permanently separated from employment in a restaurant, bar, or lawful gambling organization from October 1, 2007, to October 1, 2009, due to the implementation of any state law prohibiting smoking;


By the way ClearWay MN; formerly MPAAT; (which funded this 5/18/09 study) conducted their own survey in 2006 that showed bans eliminated up to 80% of the customers in 7 out of 10 bars and restaurants after smoking bans were enacted. (see links below)

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