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Smoking Ban Improves Restaurant Air Quality

LANSING (WWJ) - State health officials say Michigan's smoke-free laws have been a breath of fresh air.

Officials say second-hand smoke pollutants have nearly vanished from Michigan restaurants since the state passed smoke-free laws last year.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says there's been a 93 percent plunge in the level of second-hand smoke pollutants in restaurants since the law went into effect 17 months ago. And spokeswoman Dr. Theresa Wilson says the health of workers and patrons should also be improving.

"There's obviously other toxins and other pollutants that occur in these establishments, but we specifically looked at the size of matter of particulate matter from second-hand smoke and found a significant reduction," she says.

And Dr. Wilson says there are other benefits too. "Preventing chronic disease especially due to exposure of second-hand smoke, improving heart health and reducing the instance of cancer. And we also hope that this means reduced health care costs," says Wilson.

The study looked at nearly 80 restaurants that allowed smoking before last year's ban.

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