November 2009

Grant Results

SUMMARY

From 2000 to 2006, project staff and consultants at Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (KIISS), Roseville, Calif., worked with the restaurant industry to increase the number of state and local laws banning smoking in public places. From 2006 to 2008, KIISS expanded its focus to work with bars, hotels and labor unions as well.

To persuade the hospitality industry to support comprehensive smoke-free air laws, or at least remain neutral towards such laws, the KIISS project director and consultants:

  • Created videos and pamphlets with testimonials from industry leaders.
  • Cultivated connections with executives at restaurant trade associations.
  • Wrote op-eds for trade publications and daily newspapers.
  • Developed a network of media contacts.

Key Results

  • By the end of the project, 25 states had passed and implemented comprehensive smoke-free air laws in public places, including restaurants, compared to just four when it began. In addition, several major hotel chains—Westin, Marriott and Sheraton—as well as several smaller chains and independent hotels decided to become smoke-free.

    While KIISS cannot take full credit for the new state laws, it did influence the industry response. In the 25 states, about 24 percent of restaurant associations shifted from opposing the laws to supporting them, and nearly 63 percent shifted to a neutral position, according to the project director. Another 13 percent remained opposed.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project from November 2000 to December 2008 with three grants totaling $1,241,313.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

Restaurant owners and restaurant associations have historically opposed smoke-free laws in public places, arguing that a smoking ban would hurt their business. The restaurant industry has received significant amounts of tobacco-industry funding over many years, and has frequently cited tobacco industry-generated statistics to support its concerns about the economic impact of a ban.

In 1992, the California Restaurant Association became the first restaurant association in the country to support a statewide ban on smoking in public places. The association, which had fought against smoke-free laws for many years, changed its position after the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that secondhand smoke was carcinogenic. By then, the association had already lost several local battles against bans, feared litigation from restaurant employees and sensed a shift in momentum on the issue.

In 1994, California became the first state to pass a statewide ban on smoking in public places. "The law would have never passed without the restaurant association supporting it," said Paul H. McIntyre, then public affairs advisor for the restaurant association. "We were powerful, we were well-connected to lobbyists and PACs."

Because California is often a bellwether, advocates of smoke-free laws believed that many other states would soon pass similar laws. But five years later no other states had done so. McIntyre and others were convinced that the support, or at least neutrality, of restaurant associations was crucial to the passage of other statewide bans.

In 2000, McIntyre formed Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (KIISS) as a nonprofit organization to work with the restaurant industry. Its emphasis on the effects of secondhand smoke on youth reflected the large number of youth workers in restaurants and their special health risks.

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RWJF STRATEGY

RWJF funded research into the harms from secondhand smoke through projects funded under its Substance Abuse Policy Research Program. For more information, see Grant Results on the following three projects in the program:

During this period, RWJF also supported other projects aimed at protecting the public from secondhand smoke, including:

  • SmokeLess States: National Tobacco Policy Initiative, which supported development and implementation of comprehensive statewide strategies to reduce tobacco use through education, treatment and policy initiatives such as tobacco tax increases and clean air laws. See Grant Results for more information.
  • Initiatives of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (ID# 057793).
  • Grants to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for public education on clean air and tobacco control. See Grant Results on ID#s 042060, 041035 and 038818 for its work on educating the public about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. RWJF also has supported the campaign's production of educational materials for the public and policy-makers on the benefits of clean indoor air (ID# 041041) and the campaign's work to assist states' tobacco prevention and public health projects (ID#s 062020 and 064346). See Grant Results for more information.
  • Policy Advocacy on Tobacco and Health, which worked on clean air laws and tobacco control in communities of color across the United States. For more information see Grant Results.
  • Smoke-Free New Jersey, which involved educational campaigns about clean air laws. See Grant Results for more information.
  • Audience Research and Communications to Increase Public Awareness and Action for Tobacco Control, which are mainly communications campaigns targeted in states and cities across the country.

RWJF's work in tobacco in 2009 is funded through its Public Health Program Management Team.

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THE PROJECT

From 2000 to 2006, RWJF provided two grants to KIISS to work with the restaurant industry to increase state and local laws banning smoking in public places across the country (ID# 039150 and ID# 048089). A third grant, from 2006 to 2008, enabled KIISS to work with bars, hotels and labor unions (ID# 057793).

Other Funding

The project received $50,000 from the American Legacy Foundation in Washington, to produce a smoke-free restaurant/bar implementation workbook. The project also received occasional funding from the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association to testify on proposed smoke-free laws.

Subcontractors

The project subcontracted with the following individuals and organizations:

Activities

To build support for smoke-free air laws, Paul McIntyre and consultants to KIISS:

  • Assessed support. Over a six-month period, the project director:
    • Conducted some 40 in person and telephone interviews with key industry leaders, including restaurant association officers and directors, executives at chains such as Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday and Cheesecake Factory, and independent restaurant operators.
    • Personal visits to the Washington offices of three trade associations—the National Restaurant Association, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives (now known as the Council of State Restaurant Associations). The National Restaurant Association represents the nation's 878,000 restaurant and food-service outlets. The International Society of Restaurant Association Executives represents executives of the state restaurant association.
    • Informally surveyed a sample of executives from 46 state restaurant associations, 50 leading restaurant chains and 50 independent restaurants.
    Based on that assessment, the project director concluded that the primary opposition to smoke-free air laws was among restaurant association executives, rather than restaurant owners and managers. As a result, he focused his efforts on the former group.

    In 2006, when KIISS began working with labor unions, a project consultant conducted a separate needs assessment, identifying labor leaders in 18 target states and researching their positions on workplace smoking bans. The assessment concluded that labor unions generally had priorities other than smoke-free workplaces.
  • Developed three volumes of videos and pamphlets that featured testimonials from respected restaurant, bar and hotel owners and managers about the benefits of smoke-free laws. KIISS distributed more than 6,000 copies of the videos and 20,000 copies of the pamphlets to restaurant, bar and hotel industry groups, health organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, and state and local government staff.
  • Fostered connections with executives and government affairs staff of national and state restaurant associations, and other hospitality trade associations. For example, the project director:
    • Attended and made presentations at annual meetings of the National Restaurant Association and the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives.

      At the time, tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds were major contributors to these associations and regularly attended their meetings, according to McIntyre. McIntyre presented evidence to counter tobacco industry claims that a smoking ban would harm business.
    • Communicated with the presidents of state restaurant associations and government affairs staff in states and cities where smoking bans were being considered.
    • Attended annual meetings of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Society of Hotel Association Executives, the National Nightclub and Tavern Convention and the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States.
  • Wrote op-eds supporting proposed smoke-free laws for the leading restaurant trade publication, Nation's Restaurant News, and for local newspapers. Newspapers publishing McIntyre's opinion pieces included the Chicago Sun Times, the Toledo Blade, and the Capital Times (Madison, Wis.). See the Bibliography for more information.

    The project director also:
    • Sent out press releases to 100 major daily newspapers to report on milestones, such as passage of a smoke-free law.
    • Developed a network of connections with reporters who cover restaurant smoking issues.
    • Worked with supportive restaurant industry leaders in states considering smoking bans to hold press conferences and town hall meetings for public audiences and to make educational presentations to legislators.

Challenges

  • The tobacco industry had a long track record of providing substantial financial backing to the restaurant industry. "The tobacco industry had done a good job of educating and indoctrinating the restaurant association on the alleged economic harm of smoke-free laws," said McIntyre. "KIISS helped to bridge the gap between the hospitality industry and the health side."

    By the end of the project, the National Restaurant Association had decided to stop accepting tobacco funds and the tobacco industry was no longer providing funding to the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives.
  • Restaurant industry officials tend to distrust government regulation of the industry. The project director took the position that some government regulation is inappropriate, but that there is a role for regulations affecting health and safety.
  • The project director did not have a natural "in" with labor unions as he did with the restaurant industry and struggled to be recognized and heard. Although a labor union consultant conducted the needs assessment, the project director felt the project did not make effective inroads with labor unions.

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RESULTS

  • Eight years after KIISS was formed, 25 states had passed and implemented comprehensive smoke-free air laws in public places, including restaurants, compared with only one state, California, at the start of the project. In addition, major hotel chains—Westin, Marriott and Sheraton—as well as several smaller chains and a number of independent hotels had decided to become smoke-free.

    While KIISS cannot take full credit for the laws, it did influence the restaurant industry's position. In the 25 states that enacted a comprehensive smoke-free air law, some 24 percent of restaurant associations switched from opposing the law to supporting it, while nearly 63 percent switched to a neutral position, according to McIntyre. The remaining 13 percent remained opposed.
    • Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania were among the states where restaurant associations became supportive of smoking bans.

      For example, the director of the New York State Restaurant Association heard McIntyre speak at an International Society of Restaurant Association Executives conference. Afterwards, he pledged to work toward a smoking ban in public places in New York; that ban eventually passed.

      "The New York State Restaurant Association worked hard on the smoke-free law," said McIntyre. "We needed a big influential state like New York to go smoke-free. California was seen as too much out of the mainstream."
    • States where restaurant associations became neutral to smoking bans included Delaware, Florida, Montana, Utah and Washington.
    • At the city level, the Greater Houston Restaurant Association switched from a position of opposition to one of support, helping to pass a citywide smoking ban in 2006.

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LESSONS LEARNED

  1. Involve insiders from the industries affected by health-related laws. Restaurant owners and managers are often unconvinced by health professionals' claims about the benefits of smoke-free laws; they are more willing to listen to their peers. The project director knew how to speak the industry's language and was able to gather credible testimonials about the economic benefits of smoking bans from restaurateurs.

    The project's inability to make headway with labor unions highlighted the same lesson. "When the project did not have an insider to work with labor unions, staff made much less progress," said McIntyre.

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AFTER THE GRANT

In 2009, Paul McIntyre received a six-month $49,750 contract (funded through RWJF's Public Health Team's communications fund) to continue his work with restaurant associations and develop new outreach to the gaming industry (ID# 065110-006).

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Eliminating children's exposure to secondhand smoke

Grantee

Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (Roseville,  CA)

  • Eliminating children's exposure to secondhand smoke
    Amount: $ 389,207
    Dates: November 2000 to October 2003
    ID#:  039150

  • Amount: $ 390,515
    Dates: November 2003 to October 2006
    ID#:  048089

  • Outreach and educational efforts for restaurants, bars, hotels and labor unions on the positive impact of clean indoor air policy
    Amount: $ 461,591
    Dates: November 2006 to December 2008
    ID#:  057793

Contact

Paul H. McIntyre
(916) 780-0226
paulmc@kiiss.org

Web Site

http://www.kiiss.org

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Articles

McIntyre PH. "Goal to Extinguish Secondhand Smoke." Sacramento Bee, January 2, 2003. Available online for a fee.

McIntyre PH. "Ignoring Effects of Secondhand Tobacco Akin to Blowing Smoke in Worker's Faces." Nation's Restaurant News, June 9, 2003. Available online for a fee.

McIntyre PH. "Restaurants Learn From Asbestos Disaster." Toledo Blade, September 27, 2003.

McIntyre PH. "A High Price to Pay: Workers' Lives Lost to Secondhand Smoke Far More Costly Than Possibility of Lost Profits." Nation's Restaurant News, August 1, 2004. Available online for a fee.

McIntyre PH. "Good News About Smoke-Free Restaurants." North American Clipping Bureau, April 20, 2005.

McIntyre PH. "Restaurant, Bar Workers Need Protection From Smoke." Chicago Sun Times, June 11, 2005.

McIntyre PH. "Bars Need to Realize Smoke-Free Reality." The Capital Times, June 20, 2005.

McIntyre PH. "A Smoking Ban Isn't About Your Bottom Line, It's About Protecting Your Workers' Health." Nation's Restaurant News, December 5, 2005. Available online for a fee.

McIntyre PH. "Study Proved Wrong on Cost of Smoking Ban." Press of Atlantic City, December 12, 2005.

McIntyre PH. "SG: 'Debate Is Over' on Risk of Secondhand Smoke." Nation's Restaurant News SmartBriefs, June 28, 2006.

Reports

Needs Assessment and Research on Restaurant Smoking Issues. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, May 15, 2001.

McIntyre PH. Smoking Policy Survey: National 2002. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke.

Health and Safety Rises to Top of Restaurateurs Concerns About Secondhand Smoke. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, July 23, 2004.

Leonard C. KIISS Labor Needs Assessment Report, 2005. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke.

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

Secondhand Smoke in Restaurants: A Search for Solutions, a 9-minute video of California restaurateurs talking about their experience of going smoke-free. Roseville, CA: General Training, September 2001.

Bars: Going Smoke Free! Healthy Environment, Healthy Business! a 7-minute video to educate bar owners and workers on the benefits of smoke-free workplaces. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2007.

Hotels: Going Smoke Free! Healthy Environment, Healthy Business! a 7-minute video to educate hotel owners and workers on the benefits of smoke-free workplaces. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2007.

Going Smoke Free! Healthy Environment, Healthy Business, a 6-minute video on the benefits of smoke-free restaurants and bars, distributed on CD-ROM. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2004. Updated 2007. Available online.

World Wide Web Sites

www.kiiss.org. The Web site provides information about smoke-free restaurants and workplaces. Roseville, CA: Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, 2002.

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Report prepared by: Susan G. Parker
Reviewed by: Karyn Feiden
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Michelle Larkin
Program Officer: Karen Gerlach

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