The July 2 letter of William P. Fisher, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Motel Association, challenged the results of our research demonstrating that -- contrary to the claims made by the tobacco industry and its allies -- smoke-free restaurant ordinances have no effect or a positive effect on tourism. To support his assertions, Mr. Fisher cited a study prepared for the National Restaurant Association (a close ally of the tobacco industry) that predicted that smoke-free rules would reduce tourism.

In contrast, our conclusion was based on the actual tourist revenues in nine states and cities that implemented smoke-free restaurants. (Our study is available to the public in the May 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.) The tobacco industry claim that smoke-free restaurant ordinances will hurt tourism is just as wrong as its earlier claims that such laws are bad for restaurants or bars.

Legislators can enact smoke-free restaurant ordinances secure in the knowledge that they can provide a safe and healthy workplace for their constituents. These laws do not hurt -- and may help -- those businesses. The only business that would suffer is the tobacco business, because these laws create environments that help smokers quit.

STANTON A. GLANTZ

ANNEMARIE CHARLESWORTH

San Francisco

Dr. Glantz is a professor and Ms. Charlesworth is a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco's, Department of Medicine and Institute for Health Policy Studies.