New Study Suggests Fort Wayne Smoking Ordinance Has Driven Down Air Pollution Levels

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 16, 2008 at 6:08 PM EDT

A new study suggests Fort Wayne's tough anti-smoking ordinance is having a powerful impact on indoor air pollution levels.

The study was commissioned by an organization that's very much against smoking, but the results are striking nonetheless.

"Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation" arranged for a cancer institute to conduct testing inside fourteen local restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and pool halls.

Air monitoring equipment was used to test levels of fine particulate air pollution both before and after the smoke free workplace law took effect June first of last year.

Air pollution dropped 94-percent after smoking was banned in the establishments.

City Council Member Tom Smith, a proponent of the more restrictive ordinance, is pleased with the study, but admits many critics of the smoking law won't be convinced.

Tom Smith/(R) 1st District City Council: " There will be others who just, you know, who will disagree with us until the cows come home, that's never going to change. There are some people that think, you know, health is not that important. I think it is, I think it trumps everything."

This study did not address economic impacts of the law; though Allen County food and beverage tax revenues have gone up since the tougher smoking ordinance took effect.

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