The links below are up-dates related to the smoke-free by-laws:
||Economic Impact Analysis of the No-Smoking By-Laws on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa KPMG Report Executive Summary
|Jul. 15, 2002
||No net reduction city-wide in visits to bars and restaurants. Public support grows for city's smoking by-law
|May 28, 2002
||Appeal Court Upholds Ottawa Smoke-free Bylaws
|Apr. 6, 2002
||City May Seek Injunctions Against Worst Smoking Offenders
|May 6, 2002
||Letter Sent to Bar and Restaurant Proprietors on Behalf of By-law Services
|Apr. 2, 2002
||City May Seek Injunctions Against Worst Smoking Offenders
|Mar. 25, 2002
||$4,515 Fine in Smoking Case
|Mar. 18, 2002
||$1,700 Fine in Smoking Case
|Feb. 19, 2002
||Stern Warning and $2,400 Fine from Judge in Smoking Case
||Economic Impact Analysis of the No-Smoking By-Laws on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa - KPMG Report Executive Summary
Economic Impact Analysis of the No-Smoking By-Laws on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa - Executive Summary - November 2002
This study reviews available evidence available concerning the impact on bars and restaurants of the smoke free by laws established in Ottawa, in August 2001.
An examination of the economic context indicates that Ottawa experienced significant disruption in two key elements of its economy over the period. Business travel to Ottawa decreased markedly, and was reflected in hotel occupancy rates declining from 65.7% to 58.7%. The high technology industry that spearheaded economic growth for a number of years experienced a significant reversal, with massive lay-offs by the two largest employers in particular, a reduction of 9,500 in total employment and a significant reduction in wealth among shareholders in the community. These impacts were somewhat off-set by growth in government employment and a strong housing market.
A survey of half the bars in the city attempted to quantify these effects more closely but received responses from only 51 establishments; with the result that it is not possible to extrapolate the results of such a small sample to bars generally. However six of the reporting bars showed sales declines that are not clearly related to the change in travel patterns or the shift in employment. The impacts experienced by these bars could be related to the smoke free by law, or to any of the other factors that influence the popularity of individual bars.
The food and beverage industry as a whole (including restaurants) continues to grow, with 90 establishments closing since the by law was implemented, and 123 establishments opening, resulting in approximately 1,200 licensed establishments. Turnover is the norm in this competitive industry that caters to rapidly changing consumer preferences, but the growth in numbers suggests the industry as a whole is healthy, with the greatest growth coming since May. The number of Employment Insurance applications by servers has also shown significant decline since May of this year. It is noted that hotel-based establishments have experienced a difficult year, likely related to the change in business travel, and that some west-end establishments, more dependent upon high technology clientele, have experienced a decline in sales. Bars did appear to have had a more difficult time than restaurants in the past year. A number of long term trends, such as reduced beer consumption, increased liquor consumption, and shifts from domestic to imported beer reflect the changing consumer preferences that pressure the industry. The smoking restrictions may have contributed to changing consumer preferences and the pressures on bars in some niches.
In the over-all economic context, the food and beverage industry appears to be stronger than one would expect. This suggests the smoke free by law has had little or no negative impact on the industry as a whole.
Letter Sent to Bar and Restaurant Proprietors on Behalf of By-law Services - May 6, 2002
On behalf of the City of Ottawa, I would like take this opportunity to recognize the outstanding efforts made by those establishments that have been respecting the City's Smoke-Free By-laws. Be assured that they have not gone unnoticed.
The following is an update on recent developments in relation to those by-laws.
It has been eight months since the new regulations took effect and 95% of Ottawa's bars and restaurants are smoke-free. The citizens of Ottawa tell us that they rarely encounter smoking in bars and restaurants and that the new laws are a tremendous success. The general public appreciates your ongoing support of this important public health legislation.
As you are aware, a small number of establishments continue to violate the by-laws. Many of you have expressed concern that this is unfair and does not represent a level playing field. We fully share that concern and we are working vigorously to ensure full compliance with the regulations.
By-law Services staff is aggressively charging violators. To date, close to 1,000 charges have been laid, almost exclusively against the core group of flagrant violators. Further, the City's Legal Services team is aggressively prosecuting offences in Court. Ninety percent of prosecutions have resulted in convictions, including most recently a fine of $4,505 against the Newfoundland Pub, which unsuccessfully used the "private club" defence.
It has now become clear that various attempts to circumvent the law are ineffective. In response to this, some previously non-compliant establishments have gotten the message and have decided to go smoke-free. We welcome this change. It not only protects the health of staff and patrons but also helps eliminate unfair competition. Those establishments that join this group before they are convicted will be given consideration by the City Solicitor.
Regrettably, some businesses refuse to take advantage of this opportunity. This small group of flagrant violators is taking advantage of lengthy delays in the prosecution process. In response to this, a Committee of City Council decided on Tuesday, April 2, 2002, that more aggressive measures were necessary to ensure compliance and fairness. Such measures include:
- Authority for the City Solicitor to seek injunctions against the most serious offenders. An injunction is an order from the Superior Court to comply with the by-laws. Businesses that violate the injunction could be found in contempt of court and subject to fines of up to $25,000 and court costs.
- A commitment from a bar or restaurant to be smoke-free indoors is required before the City will issue a permit for a patio on City property.
Public Place and Workplace Definitions
Some business owners have erroneously believed that they could set up a so-called "private club" and allow smoking. The Court has ruled recently, in the cases of the Newfoundland Pub and Quickchef, that the Smokers' Choice model is not exempt from the by-law. In fact, the Court indicated that such "clubs" are a pretence designed to circumvent the by-law. The City is determined to preserve a level playing field and will vigorously prosecute any establishments that try to circumvent the law in this manner.
The rules surrounding this issue are clear:
- if an establishment is open to or serves the public, it must be smoke-free under the Public Places By-law;
- if an establishment has staff, it must be smoke-free under the Workplace By-law.
KPMG Economic Impact Study
Some establishments may have recently received a letter from the international consulting company, KPMG, which is conducting a four-part, scientific analysis of the economic and health impact of the smoke-free by-laws. The letter was sent to 150 establishments requesting their participation in Part Two of the study, which will focus on bars and pubs. The methodology of the study was discussed with the Ottawa Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association and with PUBCO. Both groups encourage the recipients of the letter to participate in the study, the results of which will be available later this spring.
I trust that this information will be of assistance and thank you again for your on-going cooperation. Should you have questions about the enforcement of the smoke-free by-laws, please feel free to contact my office as indicated below.
Smoke-free bylaws enforcement information for proprietors:
Economic Impact Analysis of the No-Smoking By-Laws on the Hospitality Industry in Ottawa - KPMG Report Executive Summary December 2001
KPMG LLP has been engaged by the City of Ottawa to provide assistance in the ongoing monitoring of the economic and health impact of no smoking legislation enacted on August 01, 2001. This is the first of a series of quarterly reports KPMG will issue that will examine the impacts using credible, defensible and methodologically sound data.
The primary purposes of this report are to:
- Provide a brief review of economic impact studies carried out in other jurisdictions;
- Examine the methodologies and data sources KPMG will use to reach an objective and unbiased conclusion; and
- Provide the available preliminary data on potential economic impacts and the economic context.
Methodologically sound studies in other jurisdictions have found restrictive legislation does not have a permanent negative impact on restaurant, bar and pub sales, although short term effects have been observed, generally lasting a month or two, but occasionally as long as six months. Surveys based on establishment owners' or managers' perceptions of impact have often reported significant impacts, but these have not been born out by proper studies.
KPMG will use a variety of data sources and approaches to evaluate the impact in Ottawa. Retail sales tax returns will be the primary measure of sales change, but the analysis will have to consider the impact of the general economic trends, tourism trends, and the "September 11 effect" on sales volumes.
The effects on health and health care costs are hard to measure as they affect a substantial number of people and develop over an extended period of time. It will not be possible to measure them accurately in Ottawa over the current one-year period. However, based upon studies elsewhere, Dr. Ron Colman of GPI Atlantic has estimated the impact of tobacco related illness on the Ottawa economy at between $270 and $390 million. Workplace exposure to second hand smoke costs the economy an additional $40 million in health care costs and lost productivity.
Our next three quarterly reports will include:
- March, 2002 - a survey of pub and bar sales in Ottawa, based on random sampling and documentary evidence, and data on smoking prevalence.
- May, 2002 - results of a comprehensive analysis of retail sales tax returns for restaurants, bars and pubs in Ottawa (to January, 2002), compared with those in the rest of the province carried out by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit of the Government of Ontario.
- September, 2002 - results of an econometric analysis of restaurant, bar and pub sales in Ottawa, distinguishing the effects of the by-law from the effects of the recession, the terrorist attacks, employment and travel changes and other factors, to be carried out by the Conference Board of Canada.
Each report will also provide other statistical data as relevant to monitor impact or establish the context of any observed changed. Some preliminary findings from this data include:
- Employment in the Ottawa accommodation and food service sector appears to have risen 6.5% from June to October (from 22,800 to 24,300) despite the decline in total employment from 585,500 to 566,900 (a decline of 18,600 or 3.1%).
- Similarly, Employment Insurance claims in the accommodation and food service industries actually declined by 5% in August 2001 compared to August 2000 and by 9% in October over a year previous. Claims increased by 1% in September 2001 relative to a year earlier.
- Bankruptcy and insolvency statistics for restaurants are lower for the period August to November than they have been the last two years (7 verses 12 last year and 8 in 1999). Two "tavern, bar or nightclub" operations underwent insolvency procedures this year, verses one last year and two in 1999.