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Smoking bans not affecting businesses

Jason Hoppin and MaryJo Sylwester of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press analyzed Minnesota Department of Revenue data on taxable sales at establishments that sell alcohol to see if there was any evidence of widespread economic hardship due to smoking bans that were enacted in some areas of the Twin Cities on March 31. Because tax return information for individual businesses is not public, the reporters persuaded the Department of Revenue to provide summary data by ZIP code. They also created interactive maps using ArcIMS and ASP so readers could click on individual ZIP codes and see the data behind it.

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