11/13/2007

Bar Workers' Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke

The Annals of Occupational Hygiene discuss in their latest issue the effect of
Scottish Smoke-Free Legislation on occupational exposure. They examine changes
in bar workers' exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) over a 12-month period
before and after the introduction of Scottish smoke-free legislation on the 26
March 2006.

Exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) has been identified as causing lung cancer,
cardiovascular disease and a range of other health problems including
exacerbation of asthma and even acute myocardial ischaemia among non-smokers.
Recent evidence has suggested that the cardiovascular risks from exposure to
SHS are as high as 80­90% of those experienced by chronic active smokers.
Public health policy in a number of industrialized countries has moved to
control exposure to SHS, with recent smoke-free working environments introduced
across many European Union (EU) countries, Australia, New Zealand and some
states of the United States. The Smoking, Health and Social Care Act (Scotland)
of 2005 prohibited smoking in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places
in Scotland from the 26 March 2006 and more recent legislation has been passed
to introduce similar measures in Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

The survey shows that most bar workers have experienced very large reductions
in their workplace exposure to SHS as a result of smoke-free legislation in
Scotland. These reductions have been sustained over a period of 1 year.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene