March 17, 2011
Introduction: This report presents the findings from a longitudinal study of bartenders in
Wisconsin, designed to assess change in their health and attitudes after the implementation of a statewide smoke-free workplace law in July 2010. (Wisconsin - statewide smoking ban starts Monday, July 5, 2010..)
December 16, 2010 - Wisconsin - after smoking ban air quality in bars improves..
PAPER: The Impact of Wisconsin’s Statewide Smoke-Free Law on Bartender Health and Attitudes, Karen A. Palmersheim, PhD, MS, Kyle P. Pfister, B.S. and Randall L. Glysch, M.S., Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, ABSTRACT/FULL TEXT
Methods: Surveys conducted before and after the law was implemented collected information on the number of hours exposed to secondhand smoke, prevalence of upper respiratory tract symptoms, attitudes towards smoking in bars and restaurants, and perceptions of risk related to secondhand smoke exposure. Information on bartender cigarette smoking was also collected.
Results: Exposure to secondhand smoke during an average week decreased from 17.0 hours to 1.7 hours in the workplace and from 6.5 hours to 2.2 hours in other places. Among non-smokers, the prevalence of all eight upper respiratory symptoms decreased significantly (wheezing or whistling in chest, shortness of breath, cough first thing in the morning, cough during the rest of the day and night, cough up any phlegm, red or irritated eyes, runny nose, nose irritation, or sneezing, and sore or scratchy throat). Support for not allowing smoking in bars that are also restaurants increased significantly among all bartenders. Support for smoke-free bars/taverns did not change significantly for the overall sample. However, a statistically significant increase in support for smoke-free bars/taverns was noted for bartenders that were current smokers. Perceived level of health risk associated with exposure to secondhand smoke increased among the sample as a whole, and among non-smokers and bartenders working in rural counties.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates a significant reduction in upper respiratory symptoms among non-smoking bartenders following the establishment of a smoke-free workplace law in the state of Wisconsin. These results suggest that this policy will help reduce the future risk of disease related to secondhand smoke among employees and patrons of bars and restaurants throughout the state.
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