Staff monitored by researchers in the University of Dundee’s Asthma and Allergy Research Group were shown to have experienced significant benefits to their general health as a result of the smoking ban. The study is the first major piece of medical research into the effects of the ban.
“Our study shows that, across a number of health indicators, positive changes were evident even in the first two months following the introduction of the smoking ban, which is a very rapid change,” said Dr Daniel Menzies, Principal Investigator in the Adult Asthma and Allergy Research Group, working under the direction of the head of the group Professor Brian Lipworth.
“We were looking at bar staff with symptoms attributable to cigarette smoke, and in those two months following the smoking ban the proportion showing symptoms fell from over 80% to less than 50%. We also recorded reductions in levels of nicotine in the bloodstream, breathing tests showed improvement in lung function of between 5% and 10 %, and there was less inflammation in the bloodstream, a factor which inputs into areas such as cardiovascular health.
“This was a comprehensive study looking at a range of factors that may be affected by the absence of passive cigarette smoke and the general conclusion is that the smoking ban does improve the health of people working in an atmosphere where previously there was a lot of smoke.”
Researchers carried out a range of tests on bar staff in and around Dundee, 77 of whom completed the study. The majority of them are full-time staff working in bars for around 30 hours per week. The average time spent working in bars was around nine years. Those taking part in the study were subjected to tests one month before the smoking ban was implemented and then re-examined at periods of one and two months following the ban taking effect.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Dundee