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Although the below story does not speak to relative risks between those sucking down mainstream smoke and those breathing sidestream smoke, or even tell us the amount of cotinine in the average study participant's system prior to going into the casino, I think you'll agree that studies such as this will fuel new burning passions within thousands of nonsmokers who don't want their families breathing the emissions of permissible indoor burning by smokers. The days of society allowing indoor smoking around other humans may be a thing of the past much sooner than we think. To not have these issues ever again be a major souce of concern in our lives is as simple as Never Taking Another Puff!
Secondhand Smoke Is Real Cancer Risk, Casino Study ShowsBy Marc Lallanilla, ABC News
Dec. 22, 2003 - A few hours in a casino may cost you more than your paycheck. According to a new study, the amount of secondhand cigarette smoke in a casino or any other smoke-filled room may present a substantial cancer risk to nonsmokers.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, found elevated levels of a cancer-causing agent, NNAL, in the urine of nonsmokers after they spent just four hours in a commercial casino. Researchers also found elevated levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, in the samples. Both NNAL and cotinine are specific to tobacco and were not found in the nonsmokers' urine before their casino visit."This evidence could be dynamite," says Robert West, an epidemiologist at University College London. "It is one thing to know that one is breathing in carcinogens; psychologically it is another to know that one's own body has been contaminated by them."The study, published today in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, provides additional evidence to the long-held belief that secondhand smoke poses a health risk. The research is also expected to add fuel to the drive for anti-smoking regulations in public spaces.Research Offers Real-World Evidence of ExposureIn the study, Kristin Anderson, epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, analyzed urine samples of 18 volunteers before their visit to a casino in the upper Midwest. The volunteers, four men and 14 women, spent an average of 4.25 hours in the designated smoking area of the casino. Samples were also collected within 24 hours following the visit.The samples taken after the casino visit showed a 112 percent average increase in NNAL. The average increase in the amount of cotinine following the casino visit was 456 percent.Public health professionals note the study adds a real-world element to the evidence linking secondhand smoke to cancer. "The unique aspect of this research is that it simulates real-life exposure," says Andrew Hyland, epidemiologist with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y."The results show that even a four-hour stay in a smoky casino results in a significantly elevated body burden of a potent carcinogen," adds Hyland. "Previous epidemiologic studies have focused on long-term exposure, but this study shows that nonsmokers are being put at risk every time they go to a smoky establishment."The use of individuals adds value to the study, according to Dr. John Spangler of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.
"This takes data from the population level down to specific individuals. It is one thing to say that populations who are on average exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of cancer. It is quite another to say an individual does," says Spangler.He notes that, at the population level, it is difficult to determine what caused those in a group to get cancer."The current study nails down the fact that a potent carcinogen is are found in the urine of individuals exposed to secondhand smoke," Spangler adds. "If it is in their urine, it certainly has circulated throughout their system."More Anti-Smoking Regulations to Come?Anti-smoking advocates may find this research bolsters their case for smoke-free indoor air. According to Hyland, air monitoring in New York showed a 90 percent decrease in indoor air pollutants after the implementation of that state's smoke-free regulations for restaurants and bars."The comprehensive clean indoor air regulations now present in California, Delaware, New York, Maine and Connecticut, which prohibit smoking in virtually all indoor public places including bars and restaurants, are the best way to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke," says Hyland.Twenty-one percent of the nations' population lives in the five states that have comprehensive smoke-free indoor air policies that cover all workplaces, according to Hyland. Many more states and communities are looking into similar regulations."Data showing that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke have significantly elevated levels of carcinogens will be powerful in advocating for these policies," adds Hyland, "and I suspect the increase in clean indoor air regulations observed nationally will continue."Like many parents, Spangler, who recently spent 90 minutes with his children in a smoky restaurant, is eager to see these nonsmoking regulations enacted. "We were in a situation where it would have been very difficult to leave," he says. "It infuriates me that their cancer risk has been elevated. It is hard to argue in light of these findings that smoking affects only the individual who smokes; carcinogens show up in innocent bystanders."
Copyright © 2003 ABCNEWS Internet Ventures
I guess the best thread to share the latest story about the world's growing concerns over secondhand smoke (SHS) is here in this thread where we try to put such concerns into proper perspective. Take the below story for example. If the below data is anywhere near accurate, although extremely tragic that 4,300 entirely innocent British non-smokers a year are dying due to SHS at work or home, 27 times as many wonderful British citizens (120,000 a year) are being buried due to breathing mainstream smoke. Their crime? For almost 90% their crime was in toying with a legal adult activity - smoking one of earth's most chemically captivating substances - while a child or teen.
As I was discussing with Rickdabler this morning, who brought the below story to our attention, sharing such stories as this here at Freedom can cut two ways. Most of us see such stories as providing positive motivation to not ever again become part of the problem in exposing others to lesser but very real risks associated with active dependency.
But for members and visitors forced to breathe SHS at work or home such stories can tend to a bit demoralizing and actually provide a source of junkie thinking during times of challenge. "I have to breathe it anyway so why not just go back to smoking." Such non-sense rationalizations are the relapsing addict's refuge as what they're really saying is that "I'm so concerned about the lesser harms of SHS and the damage it inflicts that "I'm going to **** 27 times as much risk into my lungs and bloodstream as those dying from SHS experience." "I'm so concerned about a risk that is 2,700% less likely than what I used to face as a mainstream smoker that I'm going to take a 50% chance that I will smoke myself to death about 14 years early." "I'm going to again become part of the problem and at times expose others to the smoke, smells and chemicals that my badly damaged sense of smell will no longer find offensive."
You're each going home to not only a calm, mentally quiet and comfortable "you" but to a gradually changing world where there is an ever increasing awareness about the harms of lighting a toxic waste dump on fire indoors. With each new story such as this it gets a bit easier to convince smokers who are still insensitive to the risks of SHS that it is wrong to allow their addiction to harm those around them. Times are changing! Thanks Rick. Only one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff.
John (a comfortable member of Freedom's Gold Club)
Smoking at work 'kills hundreds'BBC News UK Edition, Sunday, May 16, 2004The government is reluctant to ban smoking in the workplace
Second-hand tobacco smoke at work kills hundreds of Britons each year -including almost one hospitality industry worker a week, a study says.Thousands more are dying from passive smoking at home, according to researchers at Imperial College London.The figures were released ahead of a conference on smoking in London.Doctors said they highlight the need for a workplace smoking ban, but pro-smoking group Forest called for hard evidence passive smoking was a killer.StatisticsProfessor Konrad Jamrozik looked at the number of people who died from lung cancer, heart disease and stroke in England and Wales in 2002.He then calculated how many of these would have died as a result of being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke using a special mathematical formula.This formula was based on information from other studies on the risks of dying from lung cancer, heart disease and cancer as a result of passive smoking."Where is the hard evidence that passive smoking is killing people?"Simon Clark, ForestAbout 30% of adults under the age of 65 smoke. An estimated 42% of people under the age of 65 are exposed to tobacco smoke at home and 11% at work.
According to Professor Jamrozik's calculations, approximately 700 people die from lung cancer, heart disease or stroke because of passive smoking at work.Another 3,600 people die as a result of second-hand smoke at home.He also estimated that passive smoking kills one person working in the hospitality industry every week.Ban urgedProfessor Jamrozik said the figures were probably the most accurate estimates available at the moment."In the absence of a direct observational study, I feel this research is the best evidence we have in this country to show the effects of passive smoking in the workplace," he told the BBC.Professor Carol Black, president of the Royal College of Physicians, urged the government to ban smoking in workplaces."Environmental tobacco smoke in pubs, bars, restaurants and other public places is seriously damaging to the health of employees as well as the general public."Making these places smoke-free not only protects vulnerable staff and the public, it will also help over 300,000 people in Britain to stop smoking completely."'Hard evidence'However, Forest rejected that idea."Once again we are presented with estimates, calculations and 'likely risk'," said Simon Clark, its director."Where is the hard evidence that passive smoking is killing people? If one person dies every week from passive smoking at work, as the anti-smokers claim, it's time to name names."Let's have proof, not statistics based on very dubious science."He added: "A total ban on smoking indoors should be a last resort, not a first option."What's wrong with a choice of designated smoking areas or better ventilation that allow people to smoke without bothering non-smokers?"The UK government has so far resisted calls to ban smoking in the workplace. This is despite calls to do so from the chief medical officers of England and Scotland.Ministers have said they prefer a voluntary approach rather than following Ireland and introducing a ban.Copyright BBC NEWS 2004
Study says air worse in smoky
bars than on truck-choked roadsTOM RAUM Associated Press Writer 09/20/2004By LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
TRENTON, N.J. -- If you're wondering whether a smoky bar or a city street filled with diesel truck fumes is more harmful to your health, you might want to skip your next happy hour.Smoky bars and casinos have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks at rush hour, according to a study that also shows indoor air pollution virtually disappears once smoking is banned.Conducted by the researcher who first showed secondhand smoke causes thousands of U.S. lung cancer deaths each year, the study found casino and bar workers are exposed to particulate pollution at far greater levels than the government allows outdoors."This paper will help localities pass smoking bans," predicted the author, James Repace, a biophysicist who works as a secondhand smoke consultant after spending 30 years as a federal researcher. "It shows how beneficial smoking bans are for hospitality workers and patrons."Repace tested air in a casino, a pool hall and six taverns in Delaware in November 2002 and January 2003, two months after the state imposed a strict indoor smoking ban.His detectors measured two substances blamed for tobacco-related cancers: particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a group of chemicals called PPAHs for short, and respirable particles -- airborne soot small enough to penetrate the lungs."They are the most dangerous" substances in secondhand smoke, said Repace, a visiting assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.Repace said his research also showed ventilation systems -- sometimes touted by tavern, restaurant and casino groups as an alternative to smoking bans -- can't exchange air fast enough to keep up with fumes from smokers.The study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was partly funded by the nation's largest health care philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Plainsboro, N.J.Repace found an average level of respirable particles of 231 micrograms, or millionths of a gram, per cubic meter of air in the eight Delaware venues. That's 15 times the 15-microgram U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limit for outdoor air, 49 times the rush-hour average on Interstate 95 in Wilmington and even tops the 199-microgram rush-hour level at Baltimore Harbor Tunnel tollbooths.The eight venues' average PPAH level was 134 nanograms, or billionths of a gram, per cubic meter -- five times the level in the air outside, which Repace also tested. Bycomparison, the average rush hour levels of PPAHs on Interstate 95 in Wilmington and in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, heavily polluted by diesel and truck emissions, were 7 and 18 nanograms, respectively.Levels of both cancer-causing substances dropped 90 percent or more after the smoking ban in all locations tested, with the air quality in the venues nearly indistinguishable from outside air."It demonstrates really clearly that a smoking ban results in a massive improvement in air quality," said Dr. Jonathan Foulds, director of the tobacco dependence program at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's School of Public Health. "Here in New Jersey, and in many other states that don't have an indoor smoking ban, this should be used to put pressure on the legislators."Timothy Buckley, associate professor of environmental health science at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said other research has shown dramatic air quality improvement after smoking was banned in workplaces, but this appears to be the first study in bars or casinos."The magnitude of that effect is striking," Buckley said.Foulds and Buckley both noted there is mounting evidence of the health hazards of the substances Repace tested."He's identified a place where we can have a big impact of public health in this country," Buckley said.EPA has been studying indoor air quality for nearly two decades and proved in 1992 that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, said Bob Axelrad, senior adviser in the agency's indoor environments division. Its focus is producing evidence to aid in decisions on smoking bans and working with pediatricians and other groups to discourage smoking in homes with children.Meanwhile, consumer and health groups have been pushing local and state governments for workplace smoking bans -- usually with strong, well-organized opposition from the tobacco, casino and hospitality industries, said Bronson Frick, associate director of the nonprofit American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.He said more than 100 studies of sales tax revenue show the bans don't reduce income for bars or restaurants, as their industries often argue, yet many ballots for the fall election include measures to repeal existing bans."A third of the country already is covered" by workplace, bar or restaurant bans, Frick said.As of July, 1, 727 U.S. municipalities had some smoking restrictions, with 312 banning smoking even in bars and restaurants, according to the foundation.Delaware, New York and Massachusetts prohibit smoking in all workplaces, restaurants and bars. California and Connecticut have similar bans, but with exemptions for workplaces with five or fewer employees. Starting in March, Rhode Island imposes a ban in most workplaces and bars. Five other states have some restrictions on smoking in public places.A proposed ban in New Jersey was shelved in June 2003 after amendments were added that would allow smoking in casinos, bars and restaurants.But in smoker-friendly Europe, restrictions are coming into vogue in airports, train stations and some restaurants. In March, Ireland became the first nation to ban smoking in workplaces, including pubs and restaurants, and Norway followed in June. Frick said bans begin soon in Sweden and New Zealand, and the United Kingdom is considering one.Even office-only bans have a big impact. Axelrad noted testing showed that as smoking in offices was increasingly restricted, the level of a nicotine byproduct called cotinine in the blood of nonsmokers plunged 70 percent from 1990 to 2001.Link to source: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news ... 0732&rfi=6
©The Herald News 2004
Thanks Sten for bringing this story to our attention. If you see a story that you feel supports our mission here in helping motivate all to remain nicotine free today, please email the link to one of the managers and allow them the opportunity to concur in your assessment.
The below German news article was translated by Katharina (PinkFlowers). Thanks Katharina!
New [German] Cancer Research Study3,300 Victims of Second-Hand Smoke8 December 2005 -Scientists conclude that tobacco smoke in confined spaces is not just an annoyance but indeed a lethal danger. They demand a new law in order to extensively protect non-smokers in public areas and a no-smoking policy in restaurants and bars.
Every year, almost 3,300 people in Germany die from diseases directly caused by unintended nicotine consumption. This is the conclusion of a study published by the DKFZ (Deutsches Krebsforschungsinstitut, German Cancer Research Center, which for the first time in history has calculated the number of the victims of second-hand smoke in Germany.
The authors conclude that tobacco smoke in confined spaces is not just an annoyance but a lethal danger. They demand a new law in order to extensively protect non-smokers in public areas and a mandatory no-smoking policy in restaurants and bars.
Scientists from the universities of Heidelberg and Münster mainly attributed heart deseases, strokes and lung diseases to second-hand smoking. Every year, more than 170,000 children are exposed to the harmful substances from cigarette smoking while still in their mothers' wombs.
Sixty babies die due to these substances. Thirty-five million grown-up non-smokers are threatened by hydrocyanic acid, ammoniac, carbon monoxide and myriads of carcinogen substances while at home, at work or during their leisure time.
The German government stressed the fact that it takes this topic very seriously. Second-hand smoke is "a great health risk", said Sabine Bätzing, Social Democratic Party, an assistant to the Federal Drug Commissary. She referred to the fact that everyone has a right to work in a smoke-free environment.
Further she declared that in March, a campaign to promote non-smoking had been launched in cooperation with the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. Next spring, the results are to be analysed.
The Deutsche Krebshilfe,(German Cancer Aid), also demanded the German government to insist on the protection of non-smokers.
Copyright © sueddeutsche.de GmbH/Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH
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