Smoke-free Laws to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Published on September 16th, 2010 11:54

Air quality inside several selected bars, restaurants and other public places in Madison County has improved significantly since June 2007 when the country’s Board of Health prohibited smoking in public places.

Invisible particles produced by smoking have been lowered by 94.5% in 11 locations selected for research, according to data presented by the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy and provided to the Madison County Board of Health on Wednesday evening.

Samples were taken carefully using a small, easily hidden quality control attachment in 2005 and then again between October 2009 and May 2010, stated Hillarie Sidney officer of the policy center. No one in these locations knew about this quality control attachment that is why there is no possibility that they could change their behavior in order to improve the received data, she stated.

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The quality control attachment may detect even the smallest particles as for instance 2.5 microns in diameter. A micron is about 1/100th, which is the diameter of human hair, Sidney said.

Before the Madison County ban was adopted, the particle quantity averaged about 200 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Later on, it had dropped to 11. The average particle quantity for outdoor air is 35 per cubic meter.

The Madison County figures compare favorably to data in Lexington, where the quantity was 199 before a smoking ban was adopted and 18 later on. “That we are a little bit better than Lexington is a considerably improvement,” stated Jim Rousey, director of the Board of Health. In Louisville, the quantity was 338 before an indoor smoking ban came into force, and 9 later on.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no allowed level of second-hand smoke, Sidney declared. One of Madison County’s supervised locations had a particle quantity of 54, which might be the result of several people smoking near a doorway, Sidney said.

The smoke-policy center has also supervised air quality in a hookah bar in Lexington and found that particle quantity was of 116 and 179, Sidney stated. Hookahs or also known as water pipes are most popular devices in the Middle East and southern Asia through which tobacco is smoked. Both the Lexington and Madison County smoking bans permit smoking in businesses that principally sell tobacco products.

Sidney said Lexington toughened its regulations to permit smoking only in stores that gain 75 % or more of their profit from the sale of tobacco products, but the hookah bar there met that requirement.

In this early, the Madison County Board of Health dismissed a hookah bar application, stating that was provided inappropriate information, but the applicant has expressed his intention to apply again.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Related tags: smoking lay | ban tobacco | smoking ban | smoke free

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