Fresh Air. All bar and restaurant employees deserve to breathe smoke-free air.


Facts and Sources 

  1. Secondhand smoke contains a mix of more than 4,000 chemicals, of which more than 11 are considered cancer-causing agents.
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. 1992
    • National Cancer Institute. Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. 2001.
  2. Secondhand smoke is a Class A carcinogen, just like asbestos or lead.
    • International Agency for research on Cancer Monographs, Volume 83 (2002.)
    • 11th Annual Report on Carcinogens. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2000.
  3. Exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for up to 3,000 lung deaths and at least 35,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Lost and Economic Costs – United States, 1995-2000. MMWR. 2002.
  4. Before California bars became smoke-free, 74 percent of San Francisco bartenders reported respiratory problems, such as wheezing, asthma attacks, shortness of breath and excessive coughing. Within two months after the smoke-free law, these complaints dropped by 59 percent.
    Source: Eisner MD, Smith AK, Blanc PD. Bartenders’ Respiratory Health After Establishment of Smoke-Free Bars and Taverns. JAMA. 1998.
  5. Smoke-free laws do not hurt business or affect jobs. Despite New York City’s smoke-free law going into effect on March 30, 2003, 164,000 people on average worked in city bars and restaurants during the year — the highest number recorded in at least a decade. In fact, in the nine months following the law’s enactment, bars and restaurants gained 10,600 jobs.
    Source: The State of Smoke-Free New York City: A One-Year Review. New York City Departments of Finance, Health & Mental Hygiene, Small Business Services and Economic Development Corporation. 2004.

  6. Designated smoking areas don’t protect nonsmokers. Even when a common ventilation system is used in bars and restaurants, the estimated secondhand smoke risk levels are still 15 to 25 times Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “significant risk” level.
    Source: Repace J. Can Ventilation Control Secondhand Smoke in the Hospitality Industry. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 2000.
  7. Employees and customers in bars and restaurants covered by partial smoke-free ordinances or none at all are breathing pollutants at levels that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual recommended exposure limits by 2.5 to 3.5 times.
    Source: MPAAT indoor air quality testing. 2005.
  8. Smoke-free workplaces are a proven way to make quitting easier. Cigarette consumption would be reduced by an estimated 950 million packs in the first year if all workplaces in the United States were smoke-free.
    Source: Ong MK, et al. Cardiovascular health and economic effects of smoke-free workplaces. Am. J Med. 2004.


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