November 1, 2006
Study: New Air Systems Don't Clear Smoke
Article in today's New York Times -- Study: New Air Systems Don't Clear Smoke, by the Associated Press:
State-of-the-art ventilation systems used to clear cigarette smoke from bars and restaurants don't eliminate dangerous soot and carcinogens and can even push their levels higher in nonsmoking sections than in smoking areas, researchers concluded.
Their findings from three restaurants in a little-studied field come just a week before voters in Arizona, Nevada and Ohio consider dueling smoking-related initiatives. Ballots in each state include a tough ban on smoking in public places and a more lenient proposal -- with exemptions for bars and casinos -- backed by industry groups.
Two of the restaurants studied were Mesa, Ariz., establishments that had claimed their ventilation systems would comply with that city's smoke-free restaurant law.
But in one of those, contaminants in the nonsmoking sections were higher than in the bar, said lead researcher James Repace, a secondhand smoke expert and visiting professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. And in the other restaurant, the nonsmoking section had very high levels of soot.
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