It truly amazes me how the media will take anything that fits its agenda and run with it without actually verifying the legitimacy of the information it is propagating. Case in point is the recent study completed by Ohio State University, which was funded by Clearway Minnesota, that purports that “Smoking Bans Do Not Cause Job Losses In Bars And Restaurants”.
The study makes the claim that employment trends were examined in Eight Minnesota Cities with varying types of smoking bans, and that employment did not seem to be affected by comprehensive smoking bans.
It’s interesting that the media would take this “feel good” study at face value, especially considering the financial backers of said study. It’s akin to a brewery financing a study that concludes that underage drinking is at an all-time low…such a study would be looked upon with intense scrutiny. However, a study financed by Clearway Minnesota is accepted as truth, without such scrutiny.Why?
An incredible number of media outlets have run with this study, as can be seen here. As usual, the methodolgy behind said study is flawed, and twisted in a way that will support Clearway’s agenda. For more information on the specifics of the study, click here to see a detailed review of the study by Jacob Grier. The bottom line is, restaurants have not been affected by the smoking ban nearly as much as small bars. However, the Clearway study does not examine the employment trends of bars alone. It lumps bars and restaurants into the same category, which can easily skew the final results of this study.
The non-biased study done in 2008, which used more recent data, concluded that smoking bans have a tremendous negative effect on charitable gambling, which one will typically find at stand-alone bars. For more information on the true impact of the smoking ban on small bars, go to our Economic Impact page.
Today, our friends at Opponents of Ohio Bans releases a press bulletin that discusses the flaws of this study. Will the media outlets that ran the original study run this press release? Time will tell, but check out the full press release here.
According to Pat Carroll, President of the Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, “It’s obvious why it was done this way. It’s to distort the truth. You can’t lump bars and restaurants together. We have entirely different customers and provide different atmospheres. We demand this study be done again without restaurant data.”
Perhaps it’s time we hold the media accountable for its actions. I would encourage anyone and everyone to contact their favorite media outlet and ask why studies are published without even the slightest effort to verify any conflicts of interest.
Filed under: Ban Damage, Economic Impact, media, media coverage, Propaganda | 1 Comment »