Thursday, July 5, 2007

One more reason for a smoke-free Wisconsin

It is amazing to me that there are some people, including legislators, who continue to believe that secondhand smoke isn't harmful. For those out there who need one more study that confirms what we already know about secondhand smoke, here it is:

A press release from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids summarized the results of a new study published in the next issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Basically, the study, conducted by the Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Department of Human Services, tracked 52 non-smoking employees from restaurants and bars in communities where smoking is still permitted and 32 non-smoking bar and restaurant employees from communities where smoking is prohibited by local ordinance. The study found that employees in establishments that allow smoking are significantly more likely to have detectable levels of the carcinogen NNK, which is known to cause lung cancer and is found in the body only as a result of using tobacco or breathing secondhand smoke. NNK levels increased by 6% for every hour of work.

Secondhand smoke is bad for workers in Oregon and it is bad for workers in Wisconsin. This study is just one more example of the clear evidence that proves that secondhand smoke, which causes cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses, has an immediate and negative effect on non-smokers' bodies. How much more information do we need before we do the right thing by making Wisconsin a healthy place for all workers? Once again, It's Time to Breathe Free Wisconsin!

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