Smoke-free pubs keep Irish eyes smiling

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A survey of air pollution levels in “Irish pubs” around the world has found that indoor air pollution in authentic Irish pubs in Ireland, where a smoke-free law has been in effect for two years, is 91 percent lower than in “Irish pubs” located in other countries and cities where smoke-free laws do not apply. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Roswell Park Cancer Institute and health authorities in Ireland collaborated on the project that assessed air samples from 128 “Irish pubs” in 15 countries in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

In March 2004, the Republic of Ireland became the first country to have a nationwide ban on indoor smoking in all public spaces — including restaurants and pubs. The policy provides an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of comprehensive smoke-free laws by comparing Irish indoor public spaces to public spaces elsewhere. Despite claims that the law could have a negative economic impact, Ireland has seen no decline in business at pubs and restaurants and, in fact, business in that sector has improved according to the Central Statistics Office (Ireland) (