Navigation Links
Smoking ban dramatically reduces air pollution in Irish pubs

A national workplace ban on smoking in Ireland resulted in an 83 percent reduction in air pollution in pubs, an 80 percent decrease in airborne carcinogens for patrons and staff, and an improvement in the respiratory health of bar workers, according to a one-year follow-up study.

The research appears in the second issue for April 2007 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Luke Clancy, M.D., B.Sc., Director of the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society in Dublin, and four associates examined the effect of the world's first national smoking ban on environmental tobacco smoke exposure in 42 Dublin pubs and among 73 male bar staff members who received pre- and post-ban lung function tests. Participants were tested prior to the March 29, 2004 national smoking ban, and again one-year later.

Among the barworkers, the self-reported workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was over 40 hours per week pre-ban, but dropped to about 25 minutes post-ban, showing a 99 percent decrease in exposure.

Post-ban tests also demonstrated an 83 percent reduction in tiny particulate matter in bar air.

"These results confirm that the approach of a total ban on smoking in the workplace is successful in reducing the exposure of workers to particles," said Dr. Clancy. "We have previously shown that a reduction of particle levels in ambient air resulted in marked health benefits in terms of respiratory and cardiovascular mortality."

According to the investigators, the volatile hydrocarbon benzene was used as a marker for carcinogenic substances because cigarette smoke is a well-known source. They noted that there was an 80.2 percent reduction in benzene concentrations in pubs after the ban, having already established the ambient outdoor levels for benzene in Dublin.

Among the bar staff, pulmonary function tests improved dramatically in non-sm oking barmen post-ban; the workers also showed reductions in self-reported health symptoms. In addition, the non-smoking employees demonstrated significant improvements in cough and phlegm production. Moreover, sensory irritant symptoms improved in all subgroups after the ban, although the smoking workers benefited less.

In an editorial on the research in the same issue of the journal, Fiona Godfrey, B.A., L.L.M. (Master of Laws), European Union Policy Advisor at the European Respiratory Society in Brussels, wrote:

"The article by Drs. Clancy and colleagues adds to the evidence from other studies that what smoke-free advocates have said all along is true: Comprehensive smoking bans in bars dramatically reduce the levels of fine-particulate matter, chemicals and gases in the air and improve bar workers' health."

If all European countries were to adopt a similar policy, she estimates that between 5 to 10 million premature deaths from smoking could be prevented over the next generation.

Although Dr. Godfrey admits that the impact of the Irish ban has been "enormous," she also highlights several "important caveat[s]" to the study's findings.

While the health of ex- and non-smoking barmen improved significantly, the respiratory health of smokers continued to decline, with the exception of irritant sensitivity.

"Given the known health effects of secondhand smoke exposure and the reported reduction in mean exposure from 40.5 hours pre-ban to 0.42 hours post-ban, this is a disappointing finding, especially since the reported exposure outside the workplace also decreased by 42 percent," she said.

She also noted that because the study relied on volunteers, it only involved men. Given the lack of sex-specific studies on women and occupational disease and evidence that secondhand smoke exposure levels are often underestimated in non-smoking women, she calls the absence of female subjects "unfortunate, alt hough unavoidable."

"The significant improvement in the health of the nonsmoking bar workers is very welcome, but the findings of the study underline we still need to do much more to help smokers quit and enable them to share the benefits of smoke-free policies," Dr. Godfrey continued.


'"/>

Source:American Thoracic Society


Related biology news :

1. Smoking damages key regulatory enzyme in the lung
2. Smoking changes brain chemistry
3. New miniaturised chip dramatically reduces time taken for DNA analysis
4. Caloric restriction wont dramatically extend life span in humans: UCLA research
5. Hospitalizations because of chicken pox down dramatically since implementation of vaccine
6. Simple idea to dramatically improve dengue vaccinations
7. Lack of a key enzyme dramatically increases resistance to sepsis
8. Growing nerve cells in 3-D dramatically affects gene expression
9. Male circumcision reduces risk of HIV transmission from women to men
10. Deficiency of growth hormone and IGF-1 reduces cancer and kidney disease, but creates other problems
11. New processing method reduces peanut allergenicity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 ... of the bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent ... enabled tools that drive the field forward. Includes ... to: Identify the challenges and opportunities that ... providers and software solution developers, as well as ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  Based on its recent ... Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) ... Award for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent ... North America , is poised to set ... diabetic retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to ... was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 - New FDA action ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... July 22, 2016   - ... in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of ... has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... in late 2015 to mark their successful combined efforts ... --> --> The signing, ... Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell Bank and ... Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen,s ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRV ... commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that it ... to be held February 8-9, 2016, at the Waldorf ... Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place in ... James Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Strasbourg, France , ... --> Strasbourg, France , to the US ... is pleased to announce that it acted as an advisor ... in Strasbourg, France , to the US ... --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: