Study Cites Hospitality Deaths from Secondhand Smoke

Professor Konrad Jamrozik of the Imperial College London in England estimates that one worker in the hospitality industry dies each week from secondhand smoke, the Independent reported May 17.

Jamrozik based his calculations on the number of employees in the hospitality industry, their exposure to cigarette smoke, and their likely risk of dying from tobacco-related diseases.

According to Jamrozik, passive smoking causes at least 49 deaths a year among bartenders, waiters, club workers, and others working in the hospitality industry in the U.K.

Jamrozik said about 700 people die from workplace environmental smoke each year in Britain overall. In addition, an estimated 3,600 people under age 65 die each year from lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke caused by secondhand smoke at home, he said.

The figures were released at a May 17 conference organized by the Royal College of Physicians as part of its campaign to ban smoking in public places.

“Environmental tobacco smoke in pubs, bars, restaurants, and other public places is seriously damaging to the health of employees. Making these places smoke free not only protects vulnerable staff and the public, it will also help over 300,000 people in Britain to stop smoking,” said Professor Carol Black, president of the Royal College of Physicians.

The British government has thus far resisted pleas to ban smoking in enclosed public places.