Smoky Bars and Clubs - A Serious Health Risk to New Caledonians
Written by Rosita Hoffman   
Friday, 20 July 2007

ImageIn collaboration with an indepedent researcher, Ms Severine Page and Ms Jeanie McKenzie of the SPC Healthy Pacific Lifestyle Section recently launched an Air Quality Monitoring Report with findings demonstrating that several of New Caledonnia's bars and restaurants were among the most polluted in the world. New Caledonia currently ranks ninth among 25 countries in terms of air pollution from cigarette smoke. 

Jeanie McKenzie, Alcohol and Tobacco Adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) noted: that ‘Recently metropolitan France went smoke-free, while Ireland and Scotland went smoke-free in 2006. They have joined a host of other countries who have already banned smoking in public places. Since the introduction of comprehensive smoking bans in these countries, air pollution has decreased by an average of 80-90 per cent. In Montana, USA, the rate of heart attack dropped over the six months that a smoke-free law was in place, only to increase again when the law was revoked after pressure from the tobacco industry.’

ImageThe legislation in New Caledonia should come as good news for hospitality employees who suffer from respiratory problems, particularly bar workers. Air pollution levels in bars are currently two and half times as high as in restaurants. ‘Smoke-free laws prevent ill health from second-hand smoke, and encourage smokers to quit,’ said Severine Page, the researcher on the global study. Over 1200 venues were tested as part of the research, which was analysed by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the United States. The results were then ranked according to measured levels of fine-particle air pollution.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 September 2007 )