Here's some evidence of an interesting unintended consequence of smoking bans that are passing in many local areas across the country. The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin reports on a study authored by Scott Adams of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Economics Department and Chad Cotti of the University of South Carolina, which will be released in the Journal of Public Economics. According to the article,
[the study] found an increase of fatal accidents involving alcohol after communities prohibited smoking, compared to arrests in communities without a ban.
The authors attribute that to people driving to places without a ban, and also to driving farther to find a place within a ban area that has an outdoor smoking accommodation, such as a patio.
"The increased miles driven by drivers who wish to smoke and drink offsets any reduction in driving from smokers choosing to stay home after a ban, resulting in increased alcohol-related accidents," the study says.