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Version 1 final draft - Secondhand Smoke Exposure in the...

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Secondhand Smoke Exposure in the Workplace: What’s the Risk? Some smokers and ex-smokers like to say that all people have vices that harm others and smoking is no different from other bad habits such as overeating. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have an overweight person standing next to me than a smoker or a drunk or a person who is high on drugs. Some vices have a more immediate detrimental effect on the wellbeing of others. Pointing fingers at other vices doesn’t change the fact that public smokers attack the lungs and nasal passages of innocent bystanders, giving at least some of them instant pain and discomfort. Duane Alan Hahn According to Hahn, some smokers tend to point fingers at other bad habits in order to justify the act of smoking. Smokers undermine the negative health impacts caused by their own actions on the average non-smoker. The truth is these health impacts are severe and research over the past two decades help support this claim. What typical smokers do not realize is what they are releasing into the atmosphere each time they take a whiff of their cigarette. Cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals which mix with the atmosphere and begin polluting it at an exponential rate, especially in closed areas. The general term given to the polluted air caused by smoking is known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), also referred to as secondhand smoke (SHS). SHS exposure among nonsmokers can cause serious health conditions linked with heart disease and lung cancer depending on both the amount and time of exposure. Therefore, it is important to consider the following question; which group of nonsmokers is more at risk? The answer to this question comes from considering which group is exposed more frequently to SHS. For instance, an average nonsmoker exposed to SHS while they are outside is probably less likely to catch health conditions, as opposed to an employee in a smoke-filled environment who is exposed to SHS around the clock. Take casino employees as an example. These employees are at risk everyday they go to work and should have similar protection from the government through smoke free laws. Although this issue is often overlooked, the research shows it must at least be considered. This research investigates the negative health effects of
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SHS exposure on casino employees, and evaluates the effectiveness of possible solutions which promote remediation and reduction. SHS among a highly exposed group of nonsmoking casino employees is linked to adverse health conditions such as heart disease, nasal and sinus disease, and lung cancer. In order to safeguard this group of employees, ventilation can be examined as a plausible solution, but smoke-free laws stand as the perfect solution needed to remediate and reduce SHS exposure.
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