Anti sound bites
De Forces Nederland Site is vernieuwd! Klik hier om de nieuwe site te laden.

Over Forces....
Horror Stories
Forces NL Forum
Steun Forces


Analyses Start

Wist U...?
All Time Favs


Forces Psychiatry

Manitoba (email)
New Zealand
UK (email)

 VS afdelingen



Smokers' Club

Smoking Paradise
MA Citizens for Freedom
Real Texas Freedom

Ontario Smoking

The Evidence archive The Evidence Archive

What you think you know about tobacco may surprise you

Forces Comité van Aanbeveling

Forces Nederland

ETS/ SF Regulations “Sound Bytes” and Facts

Information prepared by Diane M. Pickles, Healthy Communities Tobacco Awareness Program
20 Main Street, Andover, MA  01810, (978)749-8999,

Some notes:

The following is an overview of some of the typically raised objections to smoke-free restaurant regulations and potential responses that could serve as useful media “sound bytes”.  (This might also prove helpful in preparing for public hearings.) For each opposition statement, there are several potential responses provided.  Obviously, during the course of an interview one would not give each of the listed responses.  Rather, a list of potential responses is included among which a tobacco control staff person can “pick and choose” based upon the needs and issues most relevant to their community.

 The term “secondhand smoke” is used throughout in place of ETS or Environmental Tobacco Smoke.  This is due to the fact that the general public more commonly uses and understands the term secondhand smoke.


Opposition Statement Responses
Secondhand smoke isn’t dangerous; it isn’t that bad; etc.

·      The Environmental Protection Agency has identified secondhand smoke as a Class A carcinogen.  This means that it is known to cause cancer and that there is no safe level of exposure.[1]

·      Approximately 53,000 nonsmokers in the United States die every year from exposure to secondhand smoke.[2]

·      Studies indicate that secondhand smoke can cause cancer, emphysema, heart attacks and strokes in adult nonsmokers.[3]

·      Exposure to secondhand smoke increases a child’s risk for asthma attacks, pneumonia, ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.[4]


“Joe’s Restaurant” says that 90% of their customers smoke.

·      Given the fact that only 1 in 5 MA adults are current smokers[5], chances are good that the percentage of customers who smoke in any local establishment will reflect a similar percentage.


Local restaurants will lose business to nearby communities, especially over the border in New Hampshire.

If local data is available about attitudes towards smoking regulations, plug that in here.

·      Restaurants close to the border will likely gain some NH customers who want to eat in a SF establishment.

·      Surveys have all consistently shown that the majority of MA residents support SF restaurants and that only a very small minority say they would be less likely to patronize restaurants that are smoke-free. 

·      Only 1 in 5 MA adults are current smokers.  That is a very small minority of residents.

·      While the smoking rate in NH is higher than in Massachusetts, the vast majority (3 out of 4) are non-smokers.

·      There is a lot of community support for smoke-free regulations!

§       77% of Massachusetts voters say they request non-smoking seating when dining out.[6]

§       57% of Massachusetts voters say they make a special effort to avoid places where people smoke.[7]

·      Given the great majority of nonsmokers as well as the high level of community support for smoking bans, smoke-free restaurants are likely to attract new business as well as maintain their current customers simply because they are smoke-free.

·      A formerly secret tobacco company document was recently discovered by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada which discussed the findings of a 1988 study conducted by Imperial Tobacco which found that most smokers would not consider patronizing different businesses because of smoking regulations.[8]



Why not post a sign at the entrance saying whether it’s a smoking or nonsmoking establishment?  Let people decide whether to enter….let them make their own choice.

· This offers no protection to the employees of the smoking establishments.

·      Children who are out with parents or other adults who choose to enter the smoking establishments are being exposed/harmed.

·      Bar and restaurant workers are 1 ½ to 2 times more likely to die of lung cancer than they would be if bars and restaurants were smoke-free.  These workers deserve the same level of protection as the general public who patronizes these establishments.[9]



Do Boards of Health really have the authority to do this?

·      Yes!  They have both the authority and the obligation to protect the public from public health risks, especially known carcinogens.

·      In the same way residents trust their local Boards of Health to respond to other public health threats, be it food-borne illness or West Nile Virus, the public looks to their Boards to reduce exposure to toxins including secondhand smoke.


Haven’t we gone too far?  Doesn’t this go too far?

·      We mandate immunizations for all children and we close schools for even traces of asbestos.  Public health decisions and regulations may not be popular but that are necessary.

·      Secondhand smoke is in the same category of carcinogens as asbestos and benzene.  There is NO safe level of exposure.[10]

·      An estimated 53,000 nonsmokers die every year in the United States as a result of secondhand smoke.[11]  No, these regulations don’t go too far.  Rather, they are an appropriate and effective way to reduce death and disease in our community.


What’s next…red meat?  Twinkies? Coffee?

·      There is, quite simply, no such thing as secondhand exposure to red meat, Twinkies or coffee.  While these things may cause harm to the person consuming them, they do not harm the person sitting next to or living with the person consuming them.


Smokers have rights, too. OR It’s not fair to exclude smokers.  (Other variations on this theme include “We fought for our rights in this country” and “This is a free country”.)

·      All freedoms must be balanced by responsibility to do no harm.   For example, while adults have the freedom to apply for and retain a driver’s license, that freedom is contingent upon the person driving in a way that does not endanger others.

·      Secondhand smoke regulations in no way restrict smokers from being in an establishment; they simply can’t smoke while inside.

·      Secondhand smoke regulations are about respecting the rights of ALL people, smokers and nonsmokers, to breathe smoke-free air.


Aren’t these regulations going to hurt business?  OR When regulations like this were passed in X town, a bunch of restaurants went out of business.

·      There are no documented cases of restaurants closing as a result of smoking restrictions.

·      People go to restaurants to eat and socialize, not to smoke.

·      Bans in California, Maine, New York City and dozens of Massachusetts communities have seen no negative impact on business as a result of their restaurant smoking bans.  Some have, in fact, reported an increase in business.[12]

·      Given the fact that 6 out of 7 Massachusetts adults are not regular smokers[13], one could argue that smoke-free restaurants might actually have an economic advantage.

·      The only business that loses money when smoking is banned in the tobacco industry.

·      A study published in the American Journal of Public Health concluded that smoke-free ordinances do not adversely affect either restaurant or bar sales.[14]

·      A comprehensive study of taxable meal receipts from Massachusetts communities found that communities that had adopted highly restrictive smoking bans had a 68% increase in per capita meals receipts from January 1992 to December 1998.  This is in contrast to a lower 52% increase in communities without those same smoking restrictions.[15]


“Sam’s Place” says they have spent thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art ventilation system and they say it’s working.


·      According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, “there are no filtration systems that eliminate all of the toxins in secondhand smoke.”[16]  There is no system that is “state-of-the-art” as no system can effectively remove the toxins.

·      No ventilation system can remove all the harmful elements of secondhand smoke—even if the room doesn’t smell like smoke the toxins are still there[17] and are still a threat to the health of the people breathing in that air.




[1] Environmental Protection Agency

[2] Journal of the American Medical Association, January 1998

[3] American Cancer Society

[4] American Cancer Society

[5] Centers for Disease Control, 2000.

[6] Smoke Free New England Study, University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the American Cancer Society, New England Division, 2000)

[7] Smoke Free New England Study, University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the American Cancer Society, New England Division, 2000)

[8] Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, (Ottawa) “Tobacco Company Study:  Smoking Regulations Don’t Hurt Businesses”, Sept. 2001.

[9] Journal of the American Medical Association 1993; 270:490-493.

[10] Environmental Protection Agency

[11] Journal of the American Medical Association, January 1998.

[12] American Cancer Society

[13] MassCHIP

[14] American Journal or Public Health, 1997; 87:1687-1693.

[15] The Effect of Smoking Restrictions on Restaurant Business in Massachusetts, 1992-1998:  A Summary of Findings:  Hearings before the Public health Council of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, March 27, 2001.

[16] The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

[17] The American Society of Healing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

Zend deze pagina naar een vriendZend deze pagina naar een vriend

Forces Nederland, Dé pro-rokers organisatie van Nederland en België

Waarschuwingen | Positieve effecten | Junk science | Yach Artikel | Veiliger sigaret | Better off dead | Roken gerelateerde doden | Intermediërende factoren | RR waarden | RR Discussie | NCI over RR | Longkanker en roken | EPA rapport | EPA doorgerekend | Roken mag? | CBS analyse | Astma links | WHO rapport | SHS Concentraties | Onderzoeksresultaten | Kanker factoren | Sterftecijfers | Zyban dossier | SHS niet gevaarlijk | Anti sound bites | Hemoglobine | De nieuwe tabaksnota | STIVORO | Astmafonds | CAN | Cicon | Rokersfonds