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News Summary

2003 smoking ban stopped smokers, but not diners

Publication Date: 6/18/2007
  • Author:SHELLY OWENS
  • Publication:TCPalm.com

On July 1, 2003, Florida banned smoking in indoor workplaces, including restaurants.

Restaurant owners were worried. They counted the people in their smoking sections and dreaded the loss of a healthy percentage of regular customers.

But now they have four years of experience with the ban. And many say they are doing more business, not less...

Full service restaurants with bars have actually seen sales go up, Lackey said. They didn't lose smokers and they gained more non- smokers.

Smokers still enjoy going out and they use it as an opportunity to cut back on smoking or they go outside to patio areas to smoke, he said.