Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smoke Free Milwaukee Project Exposes Hazardous Air Quality in Bars and Restaurants

According to a study released today by the Smoke Free Milwaukee Project, secondhand smoke in Brew City's eating and drinking establishments exposes workers and customers to hazardous air quality. The report, which covers 32 Milwaukee bars and restaurants, finds 69% of the establishments tested had hazardous air quality. In fact, two workplaces had air quality more than two times the hazardous level! The only three workplaces that measured good air quality were smoke-free ones. Sheri Johnson, PhD- an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin who presented the study's results- called for a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free workplaces law to protect public health.

Members of the medical community came together with public health officials, the Black Health Coalition, and other Milwaukee residents to draw attention to these striking numbers. "Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke is one of the most important steps we can take to reduce the incidence of lung cancer, emphysema, and other life threatening diseases," said Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Director, Dr. Michael Jaeger.

Jack Grassel, a musician, told his story of working in the smoky bars and restaurants for decades. He was joined by Cheri Modrow, a singer in Milwaukee bands, who recently had to stop performing because of asthma and other health consequences from secondhand smoke exposure. "I had to choose between a job I love and my health," she said.

No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck! Thank you to the Smoke Free Milwaukee Project for bringing our attention to the effects of workplace smoking in our largest community.


Donna said...

Has there been a study of how many people who leave the bars are driving legally drunk? I agree with the no-smoking in restaurants, there is nothing worse than trying to eat a meal and have someone light up next to you. I also think that a no-smoking law in restaurants is good to protect the children that are at the restaurant.
Where is the study that shows how many people are killed by drunk drivers?
Where is the study that talks about how harmful alcohol is to the drinker?
I believe that the no-smoking laws are hypocritical. Think of this scenario that I over heard at work, "I am so glad that Illinois has the no smoking law now. I go out to the bars much more now. I don't come home smelling like smoke". WAIT I say "you do not like smelling like smoke, BUT, you feel that it is OK to drink and then drive, putting not only oneself but others in harms way".
SHEESH, I must be a moron because I for the life of me I can't see what the difference is.

Anonymous said...

What is Smokefree Wisconsin doing to get the smoking ban passed in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and the state of Wisconsin? How long must we be the ask tray of the midwest???