Tuesday, 12 Feb, 2008 Health & Fitness
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Woman's Death Linked to Second-Hand Smoking

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The death of a young waitress suffering from asthma who died at her workplace was reported to be a result of environmental tobacco smoke.

A woman, who seemed quite healthy and happy when she arrived at her workplace, collapsed after about 20 minutes and died. Later, the autopsy showed that she died from acute asthma associated with work-related ETS(environmental tobacco smoke).

The woman's death raised the issue of safety in the workplace. Previous studies showed that bar and restaurant workers showed significant improvements in respiratory symptoms and lung function after smoking ban was introduced. Earlier, it was suggested that environmental tobacco smoke may cause coronary heart disease, lung cancer and premature death. The reported case highlights the danger of a second hand smoking to all employees.

Kenneth Rosenman, an MSU professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine said that ETC has long-term effects not only for people suffering from asthma, but other employees, who have a right to work in a healthy and safe environment.

In US, 23 states introduced smoking ban in restaurants and bars. Many restaurant and bar owners are afraid that their business would be damaged if they have a smoking ban. Rosenman explains that the situation is quite the opposite with numerous studies showing the improvement of the business after smoking ban.

The case was published in the February edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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