Second-hand smoke is what smokers exhale and what rises from an idle burning cigarette. You can see smoke in the air but what may not be so obvious is that there are 4,000 chemicals in the smoke.
More than 70 of these chemicals are carcinogens: they cause cancer. The chemicals also contribute directly to other diseases, such as asthma, heart disease and emphysema. And that's for smokers and non-smokers alike.
One of the main arguments put forth by groups and individuals opposed to smoke-free legislation is that businesses, especially bars and restaurants, will lose money following the implementation of a non-smoking by-law. However study after study using official sales tax data shows that smoke-free legislation has no long term negative impact on restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism receipts.
The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) has recently released the results of a report that examined the sales tax data from the city of Ottawa before and after the implementation of its 100% smoke-free by-law on August 1, 2001. Results showed that the by-law had no negative impact on bar and restaurant sales:
for the report backgrounder. For more information or a copy of the full report, please contact the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU).
Disclaimer: The OTRU backgrounder is available in English only.
Health Canada has recently developed "Smoke-free Public Places: You Can Get There", a guide to planning, implementing and evaluating non-smoking by-laws. Order your free copy.