Friday, October 20, 2006

Clearing the air

Earlier today a friend sent me a link to an article, which I wanted to share with Sunshine and any other pro-smoking trolls who visit CoNJL:

As Smoke Clears, Scotts Breathe Easy Behind the Bar

Since it'll be behind the paywall in a heartbeat, I'll quote here:

The researchers, from the University of Dundee, just down the road, did tests on 77 nonsmoking bar workers in and around Dundee — particularly those with asthma — examining them one month before and then for two months after the ban. Similar research has been carried out elsewhere, including in the United States.

What was most surprising about the study, said Daniel Menzies, its author, was the speed with which health improved — particularly among asthmatics — and inflammation in the bloodstream was reversed. “We didn’t expect to find that,” he said in an interview.

In an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on Oct. 11, Dr. Menzies, a clinical research fellow in the Asthma and Allergy Research Group at the University of Dundee, said the study showed that the smoking ban “has led to a rapid and marked improvement in the health of bar workers.”

“Indeed,” he added, “on average employees had been working in a bar for more than nine years, but improvements in health were evident only one month after the introduction of a smoke-free policy.”

The tests recorded nicotine levels in participants’ bloodstream and showed that lung function improved by 5 to 15 percent, Dr. Menzies said, with the most significant increase among asthma sufferers. The findings also have implications for the incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, he said.

Shock, that. The employees' health improved after they weren't subject to second hand smoke all day! Just like everyone who could read the previous research knew it would- except those folks who will grip their cigarettes until their dying day. Lucky for (non-casino) nonsmoking workers in Our Fair State, our dying day will be a little further off because of the indoor smoking ban.


The One True Tami said...

Hey - I never said that the smoking ban wouldn't make people healthier, I just said that it would suck for smokers. And it does. Whether or not that's a bad thing is obviously not agreed upon by everyone.

I suppose I'm thrilled that people's health is improving, but I have to wonder if they didn't know all along that their job was hurting them, and they did it anyway.

Sharon GR said...

Tami: you were not one of the the trolls I referred to. I agree it sucks for smokers, but the way things are going most smokers are used to heading outside to light up anyway. Maybe more'll quit, now.

I'm sure some knew all along that their job was hazardous to their health, but many folks have no choice. They take the job they can get to/has better tips/has some benefits/their only choice, in many cases, especially waitstaff in restaurants & bars.