Workplace Smoking Study Lights Up Calls for Statewide Ban
A new study finds that workers in no-smoking restaurants have lower levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than workers in restaurants that allow smoking. Supporters of Wisconsin's proposed smoke-free workplace law say that's another good reason to keep smoking out of restaurants and bars. Study author Michael Stark says the research looked at non-smoking employees, and the ones exposed to workplace tobacco smoke showed a significant increase in NNK, a chemical that causes lung cancer.
“Our conclusion is that bar and restaurant workers, like most workers everywhere, should be protected from this potent lung carcinogen.”
Stark notes that the study adds to a growing body of evidence that all bars and restaurants should be smoke-free. Opponents of the smoking ban say it should be up to individual tavern owners to decide whether to allow smoking. The study appears in the newest edition of the American Journal of Public Health.
Maureen Busalacchi with Smoke Free Wisconsin says the study confirms that secondhand smoke is a job hazard.
“There is no safe level of exposure of secondhand smoke. Anyone who is working for a paycheck ought to be able to work in a smoke-free environment. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. It's definitely time to protect all of our workers from secondhand smoke.”