GLA hears of barstaff`s 'extremely high exposure' to smoke

Related tags Greater london authority Smoking Smoking ban Passive smoking

Barstaff in London are facing "serious potential health risks" from passive smoking, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has been told.The evidence...

Barstaff in London are facing "serious potential health risks" from passive smoking, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has been told.

The evidence was presented as part of campaign group SmokeFree London's submission to the GLA's investigative committee into smoking in public places.

Public health expert Professor Martin Jarvis, from University College London, found that bar workers suffer "extremely high exposure" to environmental tobacco smoke, over 10 times higher than the average non-smoker.

He also discovered a bar person was about 40 times more likely to have a high exposure than non-smokers from non-smoking households, and nine times more likely than non-smokers who live with a smoking partner.

Fifty-seven barstaff were tested in a range of London's pubs, by testing saliva samples to detect levels of cotinine which indicates exposure to nicotine.

Judith Watt, head of the SmokeFree London programme, said: "It is only right that barstaff should know about the serious health risks posed by working in a smoky atmosphere.

"Even though some pubs are making an effort to improve ventilation, it is not enough.

"Ventilation only goes some way to cleaning the air and does not get rid of the carcinogens in the tobacco smoke.

"SmokeFree London believes we should all expect to be able to go to a pub, or work in one, without risking our health from second-hand smoke. We would like to see greater protection for hospitality workers against the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke."

The GLA will hear evidence from all interested parties before making a decision on whether to ban smoking in London's pubs.

The trade has argued that self-regulation through the voluntary charter on smoking in pubs, which recommends the use of signage with no-smoking areas and ventilation where possible, is preferable to a ban.

Twenty-seven per cent of pubs are already compliant and it is estimated that 61 per cent will be by January 2003. and The Publican Newspaper are supporting the trade's Charter Group and the Atmosphere Improves Results initiative in their efforts to ensure more licensees sign up.

It can take a matter of minutes to become charter compliant but it could save thousands of pounds in the long run.

The message to licensees and pub operators is "Don't Delay Sign Up Today!"

Related stories:

Two-thirds of pubs will be smoking charter-compliant by 2003 according to a recent survey - the trade needs to work to ensure that that target is met. We take an in-depth look at the current situation.

Related topics Legislation

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