June 22, 2007, Newsletter Issue #44: Second Hand Smoke a Particular Danger to Teens

Tip of the Week

In spite of increased awareness of the need for healthy air in the workplace, many restaurants still have smoking sections. While teenagers are prohibited by law from smoking, that they are still legally exposed to tobacco smoke through the food service industry. This is considered by some to be a shocking hypocrisy in the workplace.

According to one report, more than 6.6 million Americans worked in food preparation and service occupations. One in five workers in these occupations is a teenager. Teens are not allowed to serve alcohol, but they are still allowed to breathe polluted air thanks to the effects of second hand smoke from these smoking sections. Even if teens aren't allowed to work directly in these nonsmoking sections, air quality in the workplace is still compromised by the odors and chemicals of second hand smoke. If your teen is being paid to work in a polluted environment, it may be time for a change of jobs. Those who live in areas governed by smoke-free workplace laws are fortunate to have such governmental protection from second hand smoke.

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