Indoor Air Quality

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

With major cities like Lexington and Louisville already smoke-free, health officials in one Eastern Kentucky county are looking at what the benefits are for their communities.

The message of the Breathe Easy: Perry County Partnership is a simple one.

“Second hand smoke kills. That's the message that we're trying to get out there,” said Sherry Payne with the American Cancer Society and a member of the coalition.

The Breathe Easy coalition partnered with the University of Kentucky to take indoor air quality tests at area businesses like restaurants, where people are exposed to second hand smoke. Findings show the level of indoor air pollution is nearly three times higher than the national ambient air quality standard for outdoor air.

“I think it should be a wake up call to the people in Perry County to say we're putting our people at risk everyday they go to work,” said Dr. Ellen Hahn with the University of Kentucky.

Frances Napier owns France’s Diner and says she knows the risk but is afraid stopping people from smoking might hurt business.

“I'd rather not be smoking in the restaurant but you know, when you're in business you've got to try and satisfy everybody,” said Napier.

It is mixed opinions among some restaurant goers.

“I don't think that people ought to be allowed to smoke in an atmosphere where it would affect other people's health,” said Bob Deaton, one restaurant-goer.

“From a smoker's standpoint, I like the idea of having a diner, lunch, whatever and being able to smoke afterwards and chit chat,” said Regina Hamilton, a restaurant customer.

“The main thing about is, it's not your personal feeling about smoking, it's the fact that it is causing people to die,” said Payne.

Members of the Breath Easy coalition say right now, they are only pushing for more awareness on the issue and not new laws. The air samples were taken at ten random establishments in Perry County.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 9, 2008 at 07:49 PM
    Enough of getting on the band wagon about smoking! It has never been proved that it causes cancer in anyone who does not smoke. I was another wife whoes husband had cancer and died. He had smoked for over forty years. However, all the doctors couldn't believe that his heart and lungs looked as well as a non-smoker. So, this is my opionion. I would rather meet a car with a smoker at the wheel, than a drunk who sits at the bars in restaurants and then gets behind the wheel to drive. It does not bother me to sit in restaurants that have smoking areas. But, it does bother me when their rights are being taken from them, to the point, that some want to ban them from even smoking in their cars. Enough is Enough
  • by Bob Location: Lexington on Nov 22, 2008 at 01:12 PM
    This actually IS the first step towards a smoking ban. Don't let them kid you. It is one of the first things that is done everywhere to start the movement rolling. After bans are passed they will do it again and declare that the air is much safer to breath. However, I have never seen them document that claim. People just take it on faith because it seems reasonable to them. Anti-smoking groups used to use indoor test developed by OSHA. They switched to PM testing when it was found that the air easily passed. Used inside, it simply test for cigarette smoke plus whatever is in the outside air already. Then after bans they test again and discover that there is less smoke inside after the ban. It means nothing by itself. Where did the money come from for these tests? I'll bet that it comes from the largest corporate shareholder in Johnson and Johnson, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Most of the stuff done by UK does get their money from the Pharm. companies.
  • by Maxine Location: Perry County on Nov 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM
    As an Asthma suffer I have had to pick my food up and take it with me. I'm sure people could wait until they get outside to smoke.
  • by Pete Location: Lexington on Nov 13, 2008 at 09:29 AM
    There is little doubt that secondhand tobacco smoke is the biggest indoor air contaminant. Why any restaurant would still have a smoking section is beyond me. It's easy to take a few steps out the door for a cigarette to spare the air for everyone else. 80 percent of adults and all children don't smoke. Their health should be more important than a minor inconvenience for smokers.
  • by Jennifer Jones Location: Hazard on Nov 12, 2008 at 05:00 PM
    I take my granddaughters out to eat at Applebee's all the time and the worst thing about it is the drifting of smoke in our direction. No matter where you sit or how far away you are from the smoking section you can still smell the smoke and it is truly offensive to nonsmokers. I know can't protect my gdaughters from everything but I would like to think I could keep them in a smoke free enviroment.
  • by WIFE Location: somewhere on Nov 12, 2008 at 03:47 PM
    YOU TALK ABOUT SOMKING AND CANCER MY HUSBAND IS A CANCER PATIENT. HE AT THE TIME WAS AN X SMOKER OF 20 PLUS YEARS. HE WAS A CURRENT TOBBACCO CHEWER. THE FIRST QUESTION I ASK WAS DID TOBBACCO CAUSE ANY OF HIS PROBLEMS I WAS TOLD NO. THIS WAS BY NOT ONE DOCTOR BUT BY FIVE. I FEEL THAT I KNOW WHAT DID CAUSE THE PROBLEM BUT CAN NOT GET THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS. AFTER MASSIVE DOSES OF CHEMO. AND THE PRAYERS OF MANY FRIENDS AND ALSO STRANGERS. HE IS STIL IN REMISSION AND FARMS AND ALSO WORKS A FULL TIME JOB. IN CASE YOU ARE INTERESTED HE HAS NON-HODGKINS LYMPHNOMA. HIS FUTURE WAS BLEAK WITH 3 TO 5 YEARS AFTER STEM-CELL WELL WE ARE STILL HERE. SO TOBBACCO IS NOT THE ROOT OF ALL EVILS. LOOK AT WHAT THE TOBBACCO MOST COMES FROM OVERSEAS AND WHAT ARE THEY USING IN IT. I KNOW THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT THAT THAT IS NOT WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO HERE BUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO YELL THE LOUDIST WERE ON TOBBACCO CHECKS AND WHERE WOULD THEY BE IF HAD NOT BEEN FOR TOBBACCO.
  • by Linda Location: Floyd county on Nov 12, 2008 at 03:43 PM
    I would like to see all of eastern Ky smoke free in our restaurants! The second hand smoke is very offensive to me.Neighboring city of Paintsville has gone smoke free-their business has'nt dropped at all.No more smoke!

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