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News Summary

Smoking ban worries turn to ashes

Publication Date: 3/10/2005
  • Author:TOM BENNER
  • Publication:Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger
State tax figures show more people are eating out since law went into effect

By the best measures available, Massachusetts restaurants have seen business go up - not down - since a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants and bars went into effect July 5.

There had been predictions that the ban on smoking in all workplaces would drive people out of restaurants when they could no longer light up.

Restaurants collect a 5 percent tax on all meals, and the amount collected from the meals tax is the most frequently cited measure of the ups and downs of the restaurant industry. The more the state gets in meals taxes, the more people are eating out.