Thursday, July 28, 2005

Study Finds N.Y. Smoking Ban Helping

Study Finds N.Y. Smoking Ban Helping

By CANDICE CHOI, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 27, 9:30 PM ET

Bar and restaurant workers in New York are suffering fewer sore throats and runny noses since the state's workplace smoking ban went into effect, health officials reported Wednesday.

The reduction is linked to the dramatic decline in employees' exposure to second-hand smoke, according to findings published in the August issue of Tobacco Control, a public health journal. Prior to the smoking ban in 2003, employees reported being exposed to 12 hours of smoke over a four-day period; that figure dropped to 12 minutes in 2004.

While there were no significant changes in upper-respiratory symptoms like coughing, the report found notable declines in a range of other symptoms, said Dr. Matthew Farrelly, the study's principal investigator.

Symptoms of runny noses, irritated noses and sneezing went from being reported by 54 percent of the workers prior to the law to 12 percent a year after it went into effect, according to the report.

The incidence of sore and scratchy throats dropped from 42 percent to 17 percent in the same time frame, while the incidence of red and irritated eyes slipped from 67 percent to 25 percent.

The saliva of the study's 32 participants was measured for levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine and a marker of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Cotinine levels in participants declined by 78 percent within the first year after the law went into effect, according to the report.

William Van Slyke, spokesman for the state's Health Department, said he expects to see continuing declines in work-related exposure to second-hand smoke as the state continues to go after businesses that violate the ban.

The smoke-free law, which went into effect July 2003, prohibited smoking in virtually all places of employment. There is currently a 93 percent compliance rate among New York's bars, restaurants and bowling facilities, according to the state Health Department.

Vendors that violate the ban can be fined $2,000 per citation.

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On the Net:

http://tc.bmjjournals.com

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the term "The voters have spoken" isn't included within your vocabulary? These stories like the one you posted has nothing to do with Toledo, genius.It was tried during the elections and failed to be effective then.

Why is this an issue with you, Frank? It was made crystal clear after the last election Toledoans are not interested in what you "politicans" conjure up on the 22nd floor. Try researching what Toledoans want, not what your agendas are.

But I guess driving all those tax-paying enterprises out of Toledo before O-I left wasn't in the game plan, eh?

Soon there will be no business in Toledo to tax the blood out of anymore, unless you're directly connected with Jeep. But wait, they're in Toledo tax-free.

Shame you don't have Toledo's best interest in mind, Frank.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

Indeed. The voters have spoken and sent the smoking ban packing. Let the people decide with their dollars where smoking will be allowed. A business owner that can find no employees or customers because of smoking will make his / her own adjustment to policy. Democrats will wail over the thought of abortion being illegal but, will gleefully ban smoking? I must be missing something.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Here's what your missing.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I am missing is understanding the intentions of politicans that are supposedly trying to build Toledo back, instead you legislate against a certain culture, ruining several businesses Toledo relies upon for tax revenue, yet the mayor will indulge his smoking habit in an outlying community outside Toledo. Makes perfect sense.

It's obvious your mayor dosen't heed your warning, so why are you trying to rehash a failed agenda? The voters spoke a thousand words, Frank, and none of the pictures you posted mean a thing to me.

I have been sincerely amused by your slant on your reality by reading what you've posted here, but seeing how big a threat you are to the growth of Toledo and the prosperity of it's citizens, I think it's time to bring a change and have someone that represents Toledoans instead of serving "their party".

The really really sad part is from the looks of things, Toledo's savior isn't going to be a part of this year's election process.

Brian~

9:40 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Brian,

I wouldn't call the fight for clean air a "failed agenda" - laws are increasingly being passed around the world to address the terrible damage tobacco and second hand smoke cause employees, children, and the bottom line of businesses. Toledo only suffered a set back last year, we'll have a comprehensive law sooner, not later.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has consistently rated Toledo as one of the worst cities in America for diseases attributed to second hand smoke and smoking. As an elected official and someone who gives a damn, I feel a responsibility to address this on behalf of current and future generations of Toledoans.

Its clear that you are locked into some libertarian ideology or constricted notion of what's the proper role of government. Among other things, its to promote the common good.

By the way, I'm not doing any of this to be "Toledo's savior" - I'm trying to make a contribution to my community of time, energy and ideas.

What if those lungs belonged to one of your children, who was working their way through college or had to work a second job to make ends meet. What if those lungs belonged to your mom, or spouse, who never smoked but worked at a bowling alley or bingo parlor? Would the pictures matter to you then?

"Legislate against a certain culture" - why not repeal laws demanding food be inspected at restaurants, that employees wash hands after using the restroom, that infant formula have expiration dates, why intrude on busines at all, right?

Maybe businesses would locate in Toledo if we didnt have such high incidences of lung and throat cancer that absorb profits through astronomical health care costs. Maybe more of my tax dollars could go to police and fire and education and economic development instead of subsidizing the victims of other people's poison.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,

I smoke two packs a day for the last 22 years. Don't worry about my health. It's not your job. People make stupid decisions every day that affect their lives and those around them. Are you going to legislate us to death to protect us from ourselves? It's not your job. YOUR job is to represent your district. (I'd be curious as to how many voters in YOUR district voted for the "smoking amendment".)

I was born and raised in Toledo. I remember when Toledo, in my infant mind, was a prosperous community. You guys have drove it all into the ground.

I've watched as Toledo has declined in the last 4 years. I use my old neighborhood near Riverside Park as a baseline for the true decline of Toledo. Let me use the 500 block of Ohio Street. In 2000, that street was fully occupied, sans the crack house on the corner of Ohio and Ontario that was burned down. 14 houses on that street, and 7 are boarded up and 2 have been razed as of early 2004. Last I've heard, it's worse now.

Not one of you on city council during the smoking ban campaign has the foresight to see the true damage that ordinance would make on Toledo. So instead of starting small and working up for adjustment, you drop a house on it and expect compliance. The result was not only lost taxes from these businesses closing up, but the influx of diners to Sylvania, Oregon and Maumee taverns and restaurants made much cash off the sales taxes these said diners paid to smoke. Jack knows...

Had you passed the ordinance as the voters passed as presented and allowed the state to determine if more strict codes were needed, the heat wouldn't have been on any of you and you could continue with your personal agendas, as well as finance them without straining the budget, but no one thought of the reprocussions, did they? You guys woke Toledo up by pulling that smoking ban stunt, as you could tell by the voter turnout.

It's one thing to look out for the health and safety of Toledo, it's a complete other when you destroy Toledo taxpayer by taxpayer. I read recently where the residents that had their homes stolen from them in the name of Jeep. In one neighborhood where 12 taxpayers were robbed, 11 are now dead. I'm going to guess "broken heart" as the cause, seeing the majority were elderly. I'm not a doctor.

I'm not blaming you personally, but the fallout of these decisions you guys make are oblivious to you politicans because greed blinds you to reality.

I wasn't expecting YOU to be the "Savior of Toledo", Frank. I was kind of hoping you councilpeople, as a group, for once would research and apply what is best for the community and represent your districts rather than creating ideas to push Toledo closer to collapse.

Brian~

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say this....but well said Brian.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Brian,

Maybe we're talking past each other: I said that I'm tired of subsidizing the victims of your poison. Every time you exhale your second hand smoke, it hurts the health of those around you, and ends up costing people, business and tax dollars - hence the legislation. Why protect some employees, businesses and patrons from those dangers and not others?

How much lost productivity and profit hurt Toledo businesses large & small over the years? I would suggest those lost dollars had a bigger impact on our economic position than our smoking ban.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Brian, you'd have to admit, we're talking a lot of tax dollars saved and a pretty big economic impact:

The State of California launched its new Tobacco Control Program in 1990. Since
that time, California has experienced dramatic decreases in smoking-caused costs
and illnesses.
· Between 1990 and 1998 the California Tobacco Control Program saved an
estimated $8.4 billion in overall smoking-caused costs and more than $3 billion
in smoking-caused healthcare costs.
· The smoking-caused expenditures of the state’s Medicaid program have been
reduced by approximately $100 million per year. (The state government’s net
share is almost $50 million per year.)
· For every single dollar the state has spent on the California program, it has
reduced statewide healthcare costs by more than $3.50 with reductions in other
smoking-caused costs saving another $6 or more.
· California, in its first seven years, produced healthcare cost savings of $390
million just through the related declines in smoking-caused heart attacks and
strokes, with more than $25 million of those savings in the first two years.
· The state reduced state healthcare costs by more than $100 million in its first
seven years just by reducing the number of smoking-caused low birth weight
babies, with more than $11 million of those savings in the first two years.
Similar program successes have been seen in Massachusetts, Florida, Oregon,
Arizona, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Maine. Source

And as far as Ohio specific costs:

What Smoking Costs Ohio Every Year

Ohio’s Annual Smoking-Caused Medicaid Costs
State government portion ............... $458 million
Federal portion .... $655 million
Total ..................................... $1.11 billion

Increase in smoking-caused Medicaid costs from 1993 to 1998 .................. 46.3%

Ohio’s Annual Smoking-Caused Healthcare Costs and Productivity Losses
Healthcare costs .................... $3.41 billion
Productivity losses................... $4.14 billion
Total .................................... $7.55 billion

Increase in smoking-caused healthcare costs from 1993 to 1998 ................. 38.1% ($942 million)

Annual Smoking-Caused Burden to Ohio Taxpayers
Taxpayers’ federal/state tax burden from smoking ........ $2.4 billion


Per Pack Costs of Smoking
Total smoking costs per pack sold in Ohio ..... $6.66

Ohio’s Savings from Reducing Smoking 1% Per Year
Based on results in Massachusetts, California and other states that have made strong
investments in tobacco prevention, Ohio could reduce adult smoking rates by one
percent per year. This would result in the following savings in smoking-caused
health costs:

First Year Savings From a 1% Drop in Smoking Rates
Savings from fewer heart attacks and strokes ....................................... $2.1 million

Savings from fewer smoking-affected births ....... $1.7 million

Total ................................ $3.8 million


Five Year Savings From an Annual 1% Drop in Smoking Rates
Savings from fewer heart attacks and strokes ..................................... $69.5 million
Savings from fewer smoking-affected births ...................................... $26.0 million
Total ................................ $95.5 million

These savings are quite conservative and do not cover all potential savings. They do
not include:
• Other smoking caused health problems such as lung, lip, oral, and other
tobacco-related cancers, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments;
• Fewer burns and respiratory problems from smoking-caused fires;
• Secondhand smoke harms to young children and employees;
• Reduced productivity losses and early retirement, and improved job performance;
• Healthcare inflation;
• Reduced property losses from smoking-caused fires; and
• Reduced cleaning and maintenance costs caused by smoking.

The lifetime healthcare costs of a smoker total at least $12,000 more than a
nonsmoker, on average, despite the fact that smokers do not live as long. That
means that for every thousand kids kept from smoking by a state program, future
healthcare costs in the state decline by approximately $12 million.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

When a statewide ban goes into effect, people may not like it but, would be more inclined to accept it rather than a citywide ban that did nothing more than chase more business to the burbs.
Doesent it strike a sour note that every liberal idea that comes down the pike has to be rammed down "the people's" throat by dictation or a court ruling? Jack's smoking ban was just 1 good example of liberal thought. Force an idea on the people, back it up with fines and penalties and resist to the utmost any attempts at calling a popular vote on the issue. And always...ALWAYS keep repeating that "it's for the children"

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Grandmother and Great Aunt (both non-smokers grew up in a house where my Great grandfather was a smoker. They both married smokers. By your calculation they all should have died early.
My Great grandfather lived to be 95, my Aunt 93, my Grandmother died young at 89. After living so long in homes with smokers, I have to doubt that working a part time job in a bar where smoking is permitted is killing waitstaff by the thousands you portray it to be doing.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,

I do appreciate your research, I really do, but if you factor in the money Toledo lost in tax revenue during the "Smoking Ordinance", you'd understand why we're talking past ourselves.

The "Smoking Ordinance" was a personal agenda. Not one councilperson took the time to compile information from each of your districts to find support to put this thing on the table. Not even Rob.

This whole smoking thing stunk from the get-go. Even MY grandfather smoked Dutch Masters (ugh) and sipped Kesslers (cringe)until his death at 93.

I apologize for this tirade, but I have to say something about what this administration has done within the last four years. Take take take.

All I heard during the budget crisis last year was "no money" "over budget" and "layoffs". You guys claim that it was a recession and Carty left you a drama. I do not recall a budget shortfall of the magnitude you had last year in the 3 years Ford ran Toledo. Matter of fact, Toledo funded many organizations and grants before last year, so don't smokescreen the issues. More than fifteen sources of tax income and you choked it off.

I, along with many, respect a person that does not smoke. I envy them, actually. But until you outlaw these cigarettes and stop relying on them to fund your tax pool, try finding something worthy for you to preach about without having that "hypocrite" label on your collar.

Brian~

PS. Thank you for not chickening out like Rob Ludeman did and remove the forum from your site.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I enjoy the back and forth, Brian. Now if only I could get stronger bleach for my shirt collars...

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,

Would you be so kind as to share the sources for your information/research?

And as far as all the references to California...TOLEDO is not California, or Oregon, or Arizona, or Texas...

And, for the record, in industrial/manufacturing areas such as NW Ohio there are MANY pollutants in the air that are carcinogenic in nature. The EPA did a lot to help with the initiation of all the recovery systems for the refineries, water reclamation and cleaning, etc. but that does not negate the fact that we are still surrounded by pollution spewing industry.

I'm not saying that smoking is good for anyone, just that it is NOT the single largest cause of illness lurking in the wings.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoking bans are not going to help us smokers quit. Distributing "the patch" freely to all smokers will, and not through insurance company's.

The state made a lot of money off the smokers through the lawsuit and taxes. They ought to use that money to "save us" IF THAT IS THEIR INTENT.

Setting up distribution centers like area churches or family centers, where we can pick them up at our convenience, would do a lot more to help the smoker quit, than a smoking ban. People tend to resist when forced.

I don't believe in a lot of social programs, but this money came directly from the people that paid into it.

SherryET~

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEAH!

Brian~

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, I have $50.00 in my pocket, I could spend it on a carton of cigarettes or a box of NicoDerm. Which is easier to get?

A clerk at the carryout will hand me a carton of my brand. A clerk at the pharmacy (if you can find one) has to go get a key to unlock the cabinet that contains the NicoDerm and other brands, then stand with me, impatiently, while I figure out which brand I want.

It's funny that this stuff is kept under lock & key while other 50 dollar products are not. Do you think that people want to quit so bad that they are willing to steal to achieve that goal?

SherryET~

2:43 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

To the guy who asked if I would be so kind to source my research, look halfway down my 'research' post and you'll find the link, entitled "SOURCE", that I inserted when I originally posted.

4:16 PM  
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6:26 AM  

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