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Bar and Restaurant Workers are Especially Vulnerable

Speaking Points

“Waitress” is the most hazardous occupation for women in California.  Compared to other female workers, waitresses are almost 4 times as likely to die from lung cancer and 2.5 times as likely to die from heart disease.38

Waiters and waitresses in Massachusetts have a 50% greater risk of developing lung cancer compared to other occupations.39

Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants are approximately 1.6 to 2.0 times higher than in office workplaces.  Levels in bars are 4 to 6 times higher than in offices.40

38 Siegel, M. Smoking and Restaurants: A Guide for Policy Makers. University of California, Berkeley-University of California, San Francisco; American Heart Association California Affiliate, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, Tobacco Control Program, September 1992.

39 Siegel, M. Smoking and Bars: A Guide for Policy Makers. Boston, MA: Boston University School of Public Health, January 1998.

40 Siegel, M.  Involuntary smoking in the restaurant workplace:  A review of employee exposure and health effects.  Journal of the American Medical Association, 270:490-493, 1993.

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