More proof that ventilation works in eliminating second hand smoke (ETS). This, coupled with the comprehensive Black Dog experiment, clearly highlights the effectiveness of ventilation technology. As the recently completed massive study published in the British Medical Journal proved that the actual risks associated with ETS are minimal, there would now appear to be no rational reason why ventilation cannot be approved for use in the hospitality industry. Small business persons have been persecuted by their governments for long enough.

Barry McKay

cc PUBCO Members
Interested Parties
Queens Park

New Ventilation Research Proves Workable Alternative To Total Ban on Smoking

New research undertaken by the University of Glamorgan has proven that ventilation can be highly effective at protecting bar staff and customers from the adverse effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). "These results prove that there is a workable alternative to a total ban on smoking in pubs that protects the welfare of staff and customers and further highlights the need for proper consultation between Minister Martin, his Department and our members" said Joe Browne, President, Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI).

University of Glamorgan researchers measured staff exposure to carbon monoxide and particulate (the small particles in tobacco smoke). Four tests were carried out during December 2002. These were based on 'ventilation off'; 'ventilation on'; 'bar ban'; and 'ventilation and bar ban'. Ventilation reduced Carbon Monoxide levels by 67+% and particulate levels by 82+%. Of the four variations, the greatest impact came from 'ventilation on'. The test was one in a series being run by the Atmosphere Improves Results (AIR) initiative with the University to establish the best ways to use ventilation systems to clear smoke from pubs.

Joe Browne reacted positively to the study, "we are being told by anti-tobacco campaigners and the Health & Safety Authority that ventilation doesn't clear the smoke. There is ample independent evidence that it can. We are deeply concerned at the way scientific evidence is being presented. The Report on which the proposed smoking ban is based concluded that further scientific research is necessary. There was nobody with ventilation expertise in the Expert Group that reported. The reference to ventilation equipment as being unsatisfactory was based on outdated and redundant standards of just one air change per hour. What we are talking about, and what this research is based on, is a minimum of 12 air changes per hour, which clearly changes the impact of ventilation equipment," continued Mr Browne.

"The Government is rushing towards a total smoking ban that is likely to be highly damaging to industry and the economy. This study shows that there are other ways to protect staff. We have already proved this but no-one is listening. We are willing and ready to work with the Minister and his Department to carry out similar research in Ireland in order to come to a sensible compromise that is fair to everyone" concluded Mr Browne.

Dr Andrew Geens of the Centre for Consultancy and Professional Development at the University of Glamorgan who managed the research said that "the system was tested as found, and under normal operating conditions so the results are realistic. It is quite clear from these results that this type of ventilation system can work very effectively to clear the smoke and substantially improve working conditions".

These results were achieved with affordable technology. The test was also run in December, which shows that fresh air systems can work throughout the year. The research was carried out at The Airport public house in Wythenshawe, Manchester, which had fresh air ventilation at the rate of about 12 air changes an hour.