• Article

The economic impact of Mexico City's smoke-free law

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the economic impact of Mexico City's 2008 smoke-free law--The Non-Smokers' Health Protection Law on restaurants, bars and nightclubs. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used the Monthly Services Survey of businesses from January 2005 to April 2009--with revenues, employment and payments to employees as the principal outcomes. The results are estimated using a differences-in-differences regression model with fixed effects. The states of Jalisco, Nuevo Leon and Mexico, where the law was not in effect, serve as a counterfactual comparison group. RESULTS: In restaurants, after accounting for observable factors and the fixed effects, there was a 24.8% increase in restaurants' revenue associated with the smoke-free law. This difference is not statistically significant but shows that, on average, restaurants did not suffer economically as a result of the law. Total wages increased by 28.2% and employment increased by 16.2%. In nightclubs, bars and taverns there was a decrease of 1.5% in revenues and an increase of 0.1% and 3.0%, respectively, in wages and employment. None of these effects are statistically significant in multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS: There is no statistically significant evidence that the Mexico City smoke-free law had a negative impact on restaurants' income, employees' wages and levels of employment. On the contrary, the results show a positive, though statistically non-significant, impact of the law on most of these outcomes. Mexico City's experience suggests that smoke-free laws in Mexico and elsewhere will not hurt economic productivity in the restaurant and bar industries


Lopez, C. M., Ruiz, J. A., Shigematsu, L. M., & Waters, H. (2011). The economic impact of Mexico City's smoke-free law. Tobacco Control, 20(4), 273-278.