Feb. 12, 2007 -- Local restaurants and bars across Minnesota appear to be unfazed by recent smoke-free ordinances, according to a study released Monday by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health.

The study, which examined the economic impact of municipal smoking bans on businesses in the hospitality sector, found the sales not only remained strong after the bans were imposed, but that the number of establishments increased -- suggesting a strong economic environment, researchers said.

"We have known for a long time that smoke-free policies are good for workers' health," David Willoughby, the CEO of ClearWay Minnesota, an anti-tobacco advocacy group that sponsored the study, said in a statement. "Now we have local evidence to counter the myth that they are bad for business."

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Published on: Feb 12, 2007