Smoke-free workplaces save lives, study finds

A Mayo Clinic study confirms that keeping a workplace smoke-free reduces the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.

In fact, the research shows that the incidence for heart attack and sudden cardiac deaths was cut in half after a smoking ban went into effect for workers in Olmsted County, Minn.

The smoking ban had other effects as well. Adult smoking rates decreased by 23 percent, while other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity remained stable or increased.

The population-based study showed that during the 18 months before Olmsted County’s first smoke-free law for restaurants was passed in 2002, the regional incidence of heart attack was 212.3 cases per 100,000 residents.

In the 18 months following a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in 2007, in which restaurants and workplaces became smoke-free, that rate dropped to 102.9 per 100,000 residents — a decrease of about 45 percent.

Additionally, during these two time periods, the incidence of sudden cardiac death fell from 152.5 to 76.6 per 100,000 residents — a 50 percent reduction.

“We are going to use this information to help us convince corporations — convince countries — that this is the right thing to do to protect the health of their workers and their citizens,” said Richard Hurt, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center in a news release.

Breathe cleaner, healthier air at work

Tobacco smoke is one of the worst offenders when it comes to indoor air quality, so banning smoking at the workplace is a good first step to better health and safety conditions.

However, workers may be exposed to a range of other indoor air pollutants such as VOCs, particles, mold and more.

Poor indoor air quality can affect the workers’ productivity, health and well-being.

For better IAQ, companies need to implement a good IAQ management strategy consisting of source control, improved ventilation and air cleaning.

Electrocorp specializes in industrial-strength air cleaners for virtually any industry segment. The air cleaners remove chemicals, gases, odors, particles, dust, pathogens, mold and allergens with a deep-bed activated carbon + HEPA filter combination.

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