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Many people wrongly believe that offering a smoking section in a bar, restaurant, or other businesses will protect nonsmokers from the odors and chemicals of tobacco smoke. Not so, says a report by Repace Associates, Inc. According to a Repace report, "Spatial separation of smokers from nonsmokers within a space does not affect either the smoker density nor the ventilation rate, and so cannot reduce the average SHS (second hand smoke) concentration."
Healthy air can only come as a result of removing the smoke. Many ventilation systems in restaurants and clubs are woefully inadequate when it comes to air purification. The notion that an enclosed space could ever be considered safe from the effects of second hand smoke is an erroneous one. Fortunately for nonsmokers, there is increasing pressure from lawmakers to go smoke-free. In the meantime, the best nonsmoking employees can do is to maintain healthy air at home, and look for employment in public places where smoke free practices are already in place.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|