Statement of Daniel McGoldrick Director, Research Campaign for Tobacco

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					    Statement of Daniel McGoldrick
          Director, Research
    Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids




        Before the Pennsylvania
Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee
           Hearing on SB 602

          September 27, 2005
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                               Page 2
September 27, 2005


Thank you Chairman Corman and Members of the Committee
for the opportunity to address a measure that will dramatically
improve the health of workers and all Pennsylvanians, that will
make Pennsylvania’s great hospitality venues healthier and
even more enjoyable than they are already, and that will make
your constituents very happy.

My name is Danny McGoldrick; I am the Research Director at
the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, DC. I
have had the privilege of following the enactment and
implementation of smoke-free workplace laws across the
country and now even across the Atlantic in Ireland. I would
like to make just a few key points to you today as you consider
this important measure.

   • Secondhand smoke is a proven health hazard.

   • Smoke-free laws are sweeping the country to protect
     citizens from these hazards and to protect everyone’s
     right to breathe clean air.

   • Smoke-free laws are implemented with few, if any
     problems, and improve the health of workers almost
     immediately.

   • Despite loud claims to the contrary, smoke-free laws are
     not bad for business. No credible economic study has
     ever concluded otherwise.

   • Smoke-free laws such as SB 602 are the only way to
     protect everyone from these hazards. Half-baked
     solutions like ventilation do not work.
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                               Page 3
September 27, 2005

   • The laws are immensely popular with voters and become
     even more popular upon implementation.

Eight states and dozens of cities across America are now
completely smoke-free in all workplaces, including restaurants
and bars1. Several states and many other localities will be
addressing the issue in the coming months, including your
neighbors Maryland and New Jersey.

Literally from the Redwood Forest to the New York Island,
cities as diverse as El Paso, TX, Helena, MT, New York City,
and even Lexington, KY in the very heart of tobacco country
are protecting the health of workers and the public by going
smoke-free – and they are all glad they did.

The reason these laws are sweeping the country is because
people across America increasingly recognize that everyone
has the right to breathe clean air and that one person's choice
to smoke and inhale the 4,000 chemicals, including more than
60 carcinogens, in cigarette smoke does not mean they get to
make that choice for the people around them. As people learn
that secondhand smoke is not just an annoyance but a serious
health problem that causes cancer, heart disease, and many
other ailments, they are more and more comfortable
expressing their right to breathe clean, healthy air, and policy-
makers like you are listening.

Polls conducted in cities and states across the country show
overwhelming support for smoke free laws, and this support
grows even higher after the laws are implemented and voters
realize how much they like smoke-free workplaces and public
places – how great it is to go out for dinner or a night on the
town and come home without reeking of smoke – and
coughing.
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                              Page 4
September 27, 2005

In New York City, a year after the smoke-free workplace law
was implemented, fully three-fourths of the city’s voters
supported the law, an increase of 5 percentage points from a
poll conducted just the previous August. The favorability of
the smoke-free law was even higher than that for the New
York Yankees (69%).

Right next door in Delaware, which in 2002 became the second
state in the country to go smoke-free, 77 percent of the state’s
voters expressed support for the law a year after it was
implemented.

I could go on and on – 76 percent of Maine residents, 85
percent of Connecticut residents, and 90 percent of California
residents express support for the smoke-free laws in those
states.

Here in Pennsylvania, 80 percent of voters support making
workplaces smoke-free, and similar levels of support can be
found in New Jersey and Maryland. This broad support
reflects a belief among voters everywhere that secondhand
smoke is a health hazard and that workplaces, restaurants and
bars are healthier and more pleasant for workers and patrons
when they are smoke-free and that the rights of non-smokers
to breathe clean air are more important than the rights of
smokers to smoke indoors.

Smoke-free laws are implemented with few, if any problems.
Business owners and smokers are law-abiding citizens and
quickly adjust to taking smoking outside, so compliance with
the laws is typically very high.

Upon implementation, air quality improves almost
immediately, as does the health of those previously exposed to
secondhand smoke. In Delaware, levels of carcinogens and
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                               Page 5
September 27, 2005

fine particle air pollution dropped by more than 90 percent
within two months of the statewide smoke-free law. Similarly,
bars and restaurants in smoke-free New York City have less
than 10 percent of the fine particle air pollution found in
Philadelphia bars and restaurants. A study published in 1998
found that complaints of respiratory symptoms in a sample of
San Francisco bartenders declined by 60 percent just two
months after those venues went smoke-free.

While there is inevitably a small group of quite vocal
opponents of these laws, they are a distinct minority, and even
many smokers and restaurant or bar owners initially opposed
end up liking smoke-free laws once they experience them and
realize that the sky does not fall when they are implemented.

Any question regarding the economic impact of smoke-free
laws has been asked and answered – repeatedly. As
responsible public policy makers, you are right to inquire
about this issue, but as a peer-reviewed article that examined
all of the studies conducted on the impact of smoke-free laws
concluded:

“All of the best designed studies report no impact or a positive
impact of smoke-free restaurant and bar laws on sales or
employment. Policymakers can act to protect workers and
patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke confident in
rejecting industry claims that there will be an adverse economic
impact.” 2

This conclusion sums up what we have known for some time,
and which the experience in New York City, Massachusetts,
and many other locations confirms – that the hospitality
industry continues to thrive in jurisdictions that go smoke-free.
No credible quantitative study using actual revenue data and
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                               Page 6
September 27, 2005

controlling for other relevant factors has ever concluded
otherwise.

A recent New York Times article may have captured the
experience best. Headlined, “Almost Two Years Into
Cigarette Ban, New York City Bars Thrive and Many Smokers
Shrug,” 3 the story featured both bartenders and smokers
initially opposed to the ban who had come to like it.

Indeed, the president of the Staten Island Restaurant and
Tavern Association – himself a bar and restaurant owner who
had harshly criticized the law before passage and feared for his
business – was quoted in the article, “I’ve seen no falloff in
business in either establishment.” As the New York Times
article continues, “He went on to describe what he once
considered unimaginable. Customers actually seem to like it,
and so does he.”

It is also important to note that while we have seen no negative
impact on the hospitality industry when smoke-free laws go
into effect, continued exposure to secondhand smoke does hold
a real cost in lives and in dollars. A recent study found that the
annual cost of excess medical care, mortality and morbidity
caused by secondhand smoke exposure in the United States
exceeds $10 billion4. The study, sponsored by the Committee
on Life Insurance Research and conducted by members of the
Society of Actuaries and researchers at Georgia State
University, estimated direct medical costs associated with
secondhand smoke at about $5 billion and indirect costs,
including lost wages and costs related to disabilities, at nearly
$4.7 billion.

I would like to emphasize that only comprehensive smoke-free
laws that eliminate secondhand smoke from all workplaces and
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                               Page 7
September 27, 2005

public places work to protect EVERYONE’S right to breathe
clean air. As the science on the health and economic impact of
smoke-free laws has become accepted by just about everyone,
opponents of smoke-free laws have turned to half-baked
alternatives like separate sections, ventilation, and incentives
for going smoke-free – NONE of which are effective at
protecting people from secondhand smoke.

While ventilation systems may remove some of the sight and
smell of secondhand smoke, no ventilation system can remove
all the harmful components of secondhand smoke. These
systems are an unnecessary cost to business, and neither the
tobacco companies nor the ventilation companies claim that
these products protect the health of workers and patrons.

Just recently, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration
and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released a new
position statement on secondhand smoke (ETS or
Enviromental Tobacco Smoke in their terminology).5 This
document included the following conclusions:

   • At present, the only means of effectively eliminating
     health risk associated with indoor exposure is to ban
     smoking activity.

   • No other engineering approaches, including current and
     advanced dilution ventilation or air-cleaning technologies,
     have been demonstrated or should be relied upon to
     control health risks from ETS exposure in spaces where
     smoking occurs. Some engineering measures may reduce
     that exposure and the corresponding risk to some degree
     while also addressing to some extent the comfort issues of
     odor and some forms of irritation.
Testimony of Daniel McGoldrick                                                               Page 8
September 27, 2005

      • Because of ASHRAE's mission to act for the benefit of the
        public, it encourages elimination of smoking in the indoor
        environment as the optimal way to minimize ETS
        exposure.

Very simply and in summary, while these laws take some
adjustment early on, they have been unmitigated and popular
successes virtually everywhere they have been implemented.
The air quality in workplaces and public places improves
almost immediately; compliance is hardly ever an issue as most
business owners are great law-abiding citizens, the hospitality
industry thrives despite claims to the contrary, and the public
loves the laws. Ask anyone who has lived in or even visited a
smoke-free state or city, and the reaction is amazingly
consistent: “It’s great.”

Pennsylvania will surely be no different.




1
    See attached map of smoke-free laws.
2
  Scollo M, et al, “Review of the quality of studies on the economic effects of smoke-free policies
on the hospitality industry”, Tobacco Control (2003); 12:13-20.
3
  Rutenberg, J. and Koppel, L., “Almost Two Years Into Cigarette Ban, New York City Bars
Thrive and Many Smokers Shrug,” New York Times, (February 6, 2005).
4
  Behan, D, et al, “Economic Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke,” March 31, 2005. See
http://www.soa.org/ccm/content/areas-of-practice/life-insurance/research/economic-effects-of-
environmental-tobacco-smoke-SOA/
5
 ASHRAE’s Environmental Tobacco Smoke Position Document Committee, “ASHRAE Position
Document on Environmental Tobacco Smoke”, June 30, 2005, see
http://www.ashrae.org/content/ASHRAE/ASHRAE/ArticleAltFormat/20058211239_347.pdf
Smoke-Free Laws




                  July 2005

				
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