A comprehensive smoke-free law prohibiting designated smoking areas was found to protect the health of hospitality workers in Argentina, according to a study in the journal Tobacco Control. Enactment and enforcement of the smoking ban led to significant reductions in secondhand smoke exposure and respiratory symptoms.

The study was conducted in Neuquén, Argentina (population 270,000). The city enacted a 100% smoke-free ordinance, which banned cigarette smoking in all public venues and workplaces, including bars and restaurants, in November 2007.

Previous studies conducted throughout the United States and Europe have linked enactment of comprehensive smoke-free legislation with reductions in respiratory symptoms and hospital admissions due to heart attacks. But this was the first study to show the positive impact of a 100% smoke-free law in the workplace on the health of hospitality workers in Latin America, according to the authors.

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Source:
1. Schoj V, Alderete M, Ruiz E, et al. The impact of a 100% smoke-free law on the health of hospitality workers from the city of Neuquén, Argentina. Tobacco Control 2010; 19: 134-137. (open access)

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