“Wij kunnen met onze ventilatiesystemen zelfs pokkenvirussen en anthrax uit de lucht halen“, zegt Paul Chirayath, chief executive officer van Failsafe Air Systems. Tabaksrook is vergeleken daarmee eigenlijk kinderlijk eenvoudig, concludeert hij dan ook. De systemen zijn niet duur, in je hand mee te nemen en volledig getest en goedbevonden door het Department of Cancer Control and Epidemiology. Met behulp van de draagbare systemen kan een niet-rokende werknemer zelfs probleemloos in een rokerige omgeving werken.
Wie na zo’n relaas nog vasthoudt aan het “ventilatie is geen oplossing” móet wel bijna uit een andere wereld komen… Óf om een andere reden het argument willen blijven gebruiken, een reden die niets met de realiteit en alles met politiek te maken heeft…
Chirayath said similar filtration systems are in place in some restaurants, including Dickie’s Donuts in Buffalo. David Costanzo, owner of a Dickie’s location, said his experience with FailSafe’s Model 7000 has been positive. Costanzo said he never had any complaints about smoke escaping the booth. In addition, smoking customers are served with take-out containers that they take into the booth with them. This, Costanzo said, prevented non-smoking employees from having to work in the smoking booth.
Costanzo went on to say that the unit in his store cost about $8,000, including building permit fees and related electrical work. He said the booth was worth the initial cost as it allowed smoking customers to stay within the store and make purchases of food and coffee.
Costanzo said he has definitely lost business since the New York State smoking ban went into effect. Though his losses have not reached the 15 percent required to apply for a smoking ban waiver, the 5 to 6 percent loss is a detriment to his business. His biggest loss has been in coffee sales to smokers who used to pay for multiple take-out beverages, but now usually buy one cup and exit the store.
According to Chirayath, establishments have the option of installing an enclosed booth for smoking, or retrofitting the building with filtering equipment. Prices range from about $3,000 for a basic booth, up to $30,000 for a complete building retrofit. In terms of energy costs, Chirayath said the basic unit uses three amps, about as much electricity as a microwave oven. He added that the initial cost of installing a FailSafe system is still much easier to bear than the financial losses many establishments have faced as a result of New York’s smoking ban.
In terms of reliability Chirayath said the filters are like any other mechanical device. When used and maintained properly they will perform as designed. However, if the filtering equipment is neglected, it will fail to clean smoke from the air.
Chirayath rebutted claims made by some health professionals and the American Cancer Society that filters can never remove enough tobacco toxins from the air to be deemed effective. He said FailSafe technology is a patented filter design that is unique in that it uses HEPA filters, carbon filters and ozone to not only capture, but eliminate, toxins.