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Smoking Ban Cuts Bar Earnings

A ban on smoking has cut sales in bars and pubs, according to new sector survey. The Association of Travel and Restaurant Services says that income for pubs has dropped more than predicted.

Smoking was prohibited in bars and restaurants as of the 1st of June of this year. The law allows setting up a special smoking room with separate a ventilation system. Drinking, eating, serving and entertainment such as games are prohibited in the smoking booth.

There is also a transition period of two years for bars and restaurants that have arranged the smoking areas so that tobacco smoke does not spread to smoke-free areas.

Restaurants that successfully applied for a transitional period to full no-smoking status were found to have actually increased net sales. Bars that have built the special smoking rooms have seen income fall just like those where smoking is totally banned.

In the survey, 15% of establishments said that they have cut back on staff because of the drop in sales.

Sales in restaurants focused on dining services have not financially suffered due to the smoking ban.

The survey received responses from 550 restaurants.

YLE