Bartenders Karen Palmersheim

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Changes in Bartenders’ Health and Attitudes after the Establishment of a Smoke-free Ordinance Karen A. Palmersheim, PhD1, Patrick L. Remington MD, MPH1, Mark V. Wegner, MD, MPH2 Background Methods Data were collected using a 4-page, self-administered questionnaire, just prior to the implementation of two smoke-free workplace ordinances, which occurred on July 1, 2005, and again approximately one year later. Using SPSS (v13), Chi-square analysis was employed to compare pre-ordinance scores to post-ordinance scores on measures of upper respiratory symptoms and attitudes towards allowing smoking in bar/restaurants and bars/taverns. Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare pre-ordinance to post-ordinance levels of exposure to secondhand smoke and perceived risk of secondhand smoke exposure. Findings Mean reported exposure to secondhand smoke during an average week decreased from about 21 hours to 2 hours in the workplace, from 8 hours to about 4 hours in other places, and from 4 hours to 3 hours in the home. Among non-smokers, the prevalence of all eight upper respiratory symptoms decreased significantly (wheezing or whistling in chest, shortness of breath, cough first thing in the morning, cough during the rest of the day and night, cough up any phlegm, red or irritated eyes, runny nose, nose irritation, or sneezing, and sore or scratchy throat). Among smokers, a significant reduction in red or irritated eyes, and sore or scratchy throat was observed. Support for not allowing smoking in bars that are also restaurants increased significantly. Support for not allowing smoking in bars/taverns increased significantly. Overall, there was a small, but statistically significant increase in bartenders’ perceptions of the health risk associated with exposure to secondhand smoke; however, smokers’ perception did not change. Data Pre-Ordinance Sample: N = 793 Madison (n=621) Appleton (n=172) Smokers = 48% Post-Ordinance Sample: N = 735 Madison (n=510) Appleton (n=225) Smokers = 41% Exposure to secondhand smoke has increasingly been associated with a number disease processes. In addition, research has revealed that persons working in the restaurant and hospitality industry (i.e., wait staff, bartenders) are particularly at risk of developing conditions associated with secondhand smoke, and accordingly, would benefit most from the elimination of such exposure. This report presents the findings from two cross-sectional studies designed to assess upper respiratory health symptoms and attitudes regarding secondhand smoke exposure among bartenders in Madison and Appleton, Wisconsin. The establishment of a smoke-free workplace ordinance was associated with a significant reduction in secondhand smoke exposure among bartenders while at work. The workplace ordinance was also associated with significant reductions in exposure in other places, and in the home. These latter findings suggest that when bartenders are not at work, they are spending some of their time in establishments that may have also become smoke-free. Moreover, the impact of the smoke-free workplace ordinance may have carried over into the home environment. Overall, support increased for smoke-free bars (both bar/restaurants and stand alone taverns). However, greater support is observed for smoke-free bars if they are also restaurants compared to stand alone taverns. Perception of the health risk associated with secondhand smoke increased slightly. In sum, this study demonstrates a significant reduction in upper respiratory symptoms among bartenders following the establishment of smoke-free workplace ordinances in two Wisconsin cities, especially among non-smokers. These results suggest that this policy will help reduce the future risk of disease related to secondhand smoke among employees and patrons of bars in Madison and Appleton. Conclusions 1 Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Program, University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center 2 Wisconsin Division of Public Heatlh, Department of Health and Family Services This research was supported by the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Bureau of Community Health Promotion, Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Results For Correspondence: Karen A. Palmersheim, Ph.D., 370 WARF Bldg., 610 N. Walnut St., Madison, WI. 53726 Methods

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