FLORENCE, Ala. – Workers in a Florence restaurant that allow smoking are exposed to a greater amount harmful air particles than those working in non-smoking environments, a new air quality study said.
The study said workers in smoking-allowed restaurants are exposed to a 66 percent higher rate than the opposite, according to The TimesDaily reports. It was released this week by the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Shoals and Smoke-Free Shoals.
The results were performed by Roswell Park Cancer Institute this year.
The air in six smoke-free restaurants and six restaurants that allow smoking was tested.
April Rogers, recording secretary for the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Shoals, said the level of harmful air particles measured in bars and restaurants that allow smoking was higher than the level found in forest fires.
“When an employee has to work in a smoking environment, their typical six- to eight-hour shift in a smoking facility is equivalent to smoking a whole pack of cigarettes,” she said. “No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck.”
The test revealed the average concentration of fine particle air pollution in smoking restaurants was 795 micrograms per cubic meter, compared to 12 micrograms per cubic meter in non-smoking bars and restaurants.
The Roswell Institute did the same study in Sheffield in 2013. Sheffield has no municipal ordinance controlling smoking in businesses.
That study found full-time workers in Sheffield restaurants and bars that allow indoor smoking are exposed to levels of air pollution 18 times higher than what is found in non-smoking venues.