Non-smoking bar and restaurant workers inhale as much as active smokers

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Nicotine inhaled through the lungs shows up in their hair

Working in a bar or restaurant can expose you to as much tobacco smoke as if you were an active smoker, a researcher based at the Harvard School of Public Health has found. The study was published in the March 9, 2001, issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal. “This study demonstrates very clearly the harm that is being inflicted upon non-smokers who are exposed to tobacco smoke from others in the workplace, what is called environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoking,” said Wael Al-Delaimy, the principal author. A novel method for measuring exposure to tobacco smoke was used to attain the results. Hair samples were taken from participants and then analyzed. The study recommends that the smoke-free legislation of New Zealand (where the study was carried out) be extended to cover the hospitality workforce. In April 2001, when the study was published, the Massachusetts legislature was considering a bill that would ban smoking in all work sites in the state.