Sales at bars and taverns fell more than 3 percent since the state's smoking ban went into effect, Washington revenue officials said.
In the first three months of 2006, bar and tavern gross business income fell to $122 million. That compares to a 4.3 percent increase that bars and taverns reported for the same period in 2005. The smoking ban took effect on Dec. 8, 2005, after voters approved Initiative 901 in November.
At sit-down restaurants, sales increased by 8.1 percent to $1 billion in the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2005, sales increased by 8 percent.
State officials said in a statement that it was "too early to draw conclusions about the economic impact of the smoking ban, and data for additional quarters needs to be gathered to assess the longer-term trend."Well I could have told you that was coming. No one goes to restaurants to smoke so the fact that it remained the same isn't surprising. In fact, I can't think of too many places off the top of my head that had smoking before the ban went into effect, besides Beth's.
Hmm, I wonder if I can start an initiative to overturn it?