December 16, 2010 - On July 5, Wisconsin became the 39th state to institute a comprehensive smoking ban law. Signed by Gov. Jim Doyle in May 2009, the Smoke-Free Wisconsin Act prohibits smoking in most public places in Wisconsin, including restaurants, bars, workplaces and any place open to the public or where the public may be invited. (Wisconsin - statewide smoking ban starts Monday, July 5, 2010..)
A new report shows the air quality at bars and restaurants that had been found to have unhealthy air has improved 92 percent since Wisconsin enacted a smoking ban statewide more than five months ago, according to state officials. The Department of Health Services joined the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in looking at the air quality of 200 bars and restaurants before the smoking ban and after. Before the ban, 21 percent of bars had air quality that was considered hazardous.
The study also saw dangerous small-particle levels from cigarette smoke dropped from 160 micrograms on average to 13 micrograms. Anything at or above 35 micrograms is considered unhealthy air.
Public health agencies collected the air samples using air quality testing equipment. Most of the testing was done on weekends when the businesses were busier and more employees and customers could potentially be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Reference: Air Quality In Bars Improves Dramatically After Smoking Ban Bars With Unhealthy Air Show 92 Percent Improvement, Channel3000.com, 12/15/2010.
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