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Indoor clean air rules require Utah bars, taverns to become smoke-free

Start Jan. 1, 2009, the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act will require all private clubs and taverns statewide to ban smoking.

Utah has joined 23 states and a growing number of countries like Ireland, France, and Uruguay in making taverns and private clubs smoke-free.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, studies have found that the implementation of similar smoke-free policies did not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry.

"Bars across Utah that have decided to go smoke?free in advance of the law tell us business has been better than ever," indicated Georgina Nowak, Southeastern Utah Health District.

Similar policies have been shown to help seven out of 10 tobacco users who want to quit to do so by reducing the number of places where they feel tempted to smoke.

In New York in 2002, the number of smokers declined 20 percent after cigarettes were banned in indoor spaces, including bars and restaurants.

The United States surgeon general's 2000 report found that smoke-free workplace laws decrease tobacco use and increase smoking cessation.

"Smoke-free bars and clubs protect employees and patrons from the health hazards of secondhand smoke," said Nowak. "No one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out."

Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens.

Related health problems include lung cancer, heart disease and chronic lung ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.

For more information about the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, Carbon County residents with Internet access may visit www.tobaccofreeutah.org/2006uicaa-pc.html.




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