Secondhand Smoke in Restaurants

  • At least 450 restaurants in Snohomish and King Counties banned smoking in all dining sections in 1994. As recently as 1982 only 12 restaurants in the area provided completely smoke-free dining.
    American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and Fresh Air for Non-Smokers, May 1994
  • About 153,000 Washington state residents work in the restaurant industry where 43% of all residents food money is spent.
    Washington State Employment Security Department, September 1994; Restaurant Association of Washington, 1994
  • Researchers measuring the air in more than 400 restaurants and 600 homes found restaurant workers were exposed to levels of secondhand smoke twice as high as other office workers and 1.5 times higher than persons living with a smoker. In bars, workers’ secondhand smoke intake was at least four times higher than in offices and homes.
    UC Berkeley/UCSC Preventive Medicine Residency Program, JAMA, July 28, 1993
  • Restaurants that allow smoking can have six times the pollution of a busy highway.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking Or Health
  • A huge majority of diners think smoking in restaurants should be banned, according to a 18,000-person survey by Zagat Survey, publisher of restaurant, hotel, resort and spa guides. Seventy percent of New York residents agreed all smoking in restaurants should be banned; 79 percent in San Francisco and 81 percent in Los Angeles also agreed. Results were published Sept. 29.
    Zagat Survey, September 1994
  • Fifty-six percent of adults would rather dine at a restaurant that banned smoking entirely than one in which smoking was permitted.
    National Restaurant Association, January 1993
  • The National Council of Chain Restaurants, which has 90,000 restaurant members, supports a ban on smoking in all public buildings, including restaurants. A third of their 90,000 members already ban or restrict smoking.
    Washington Post, Feb. 24, 1994
  • Thirteen cities to completely ban smoking in restaurants had no statistically significant loss of business to restaurants in neighboring communities without such laws. In Lodi, Calif., where nearly one-quarter of the 51,000 population smokes, restaurant sales totalled $10 million in 1990 – and remained the same 20 months after the smoke-free laws were in place.
    Stanton Glantz, Lisa Smith, University of California, San Francisco, Oct. 27, 1993
  • City bans on smoking in restaurants don’t significantly impact restaurant sales. Researchers who examined tax records and total retail sales for restaurants in 15 smoke-free communities between 1986 and 1993 found such laws did not affect the fraction of retail sales that went to restaurants or total restaurant sales.
    University of California, San Francisco, “The Effect of Ordinances Requiring Smoke-Free Restaurants on Restaurant Sales,” July 1994
  • Since 1985, nearly 50 jurisdictions, including Puyallup, have banned smoking in restaurants.
    Washington Post, Aug. 3, 1993, Puyallup City Council, September 1994

Secondhand Smoke and Kids

The Children’s Health Index, a nationwide survey of parents sponsored by the magazine PREVENTION, included exposure to second-hand smoke as one of the 15 factors by which it measures children’s overall health. Some of the index’s other factors included wearing seatbelts and bicycle helmets, knowing how to dial 911, and receiving regular check-ups with the doctor and dentist.
The survey said, “The overall health of America’s children would be improved if more parents quit smoking.” It reported the following findings regarding children’s exposure to second-hand smoke:

  • 43 percent of children live in a household with someone who smokes tobacco.
  • 79 percent of children living in smoking households were rated as having “very good” or “excellent” health, as compared to 89 percent of kids in non-smoking households.
  • Children who live in households with an income of $25,000 or less are more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke. Regardless of income level, however, children in non-smoking households tend to be healthier than those in smoking households.
    The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, interviewed 766 parents nationwide in November, 1994.
    Source: “Children’s Health Index,” PREVENTION, September 27, 1995.
  • More young people are killed by parental smoking than by all other unintentional injuries combined.
  • 5.4 million children suffer annually from non-fatal asthma and ear infections as a result of parental smoking, requiring $4.6 billion in treatment each year.
    Source: Study by University of Wisconsin, found in the July 1997 edition of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.