Secondhand Smoke

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Each year, millions of people are affected by illness as a result of smoking, many of whom have never touched a cigarette.

A recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine demonstrates just how dangerous secondhand smoke can be.

The study, conducted by a former federal researcher, found that a smoky bar or restaurant had as much as 50 times more cancer causing particles than the care exhaust during rush hour.

It also found that after a smoking ban was put in place, establishments that had previously allowed smoking had air quality nearly indistinguishable from outside air.

After reading the study, an Eau Claire doctor calls it comprehensive. "It looked a lot of parameters that have never been looked at in terms of before and after smoking bans, outdoors versus indoors and measuring it against things we can actually prove are dangerous to people," says Dr. David Cook of the Marshfield Clinic.

This week, the Eau Claire County Board approved an ordinance that will require smokers to stay 25 feet away from county-run buildings while smoking. The smoking ban will go into effect on October 1.