THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 
Week 621.1 throught 621.5

Guest Carolyn Martin, spokesperson, California chapter, American Lung Assn.

Topic California's bar smoking ban

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA California, where only 18% of the population smokes, has instituted a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants...Carolyn Martin of the American Lung Association says smoky bars are dangerous...

MARTIN 800 thousand people work in bars and restaurants in California. don't they deserve just as healthy a workplace as other people? You know, breathing second hand smoke should not be a condition of employment. Waitresses have the highest occupational hazard. They have a cancer rate 4 and a half times normal, and a heart attack rate 2 and a half times the average...because when they were working in smoky bars, they were exposed to a pack, or pack and a half of cigarette smoke everyday. In California, because of our long term program, 82% of the people do not smoke. So, a lot of bar owners are finding that it pays off to market to the majority.

NEMA The ban seems to be weathering legislative assault, and restaurant business is reportedly up. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week 621.2

Guest Carolyn Martin, spokesperson, California chapter, American Lung Assn.

Topic California's bar smoking ban/model

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA In California, a new ban smoking is in effect. Carolyn Martin of the American Lung Association says the effort to make restaurants and bars safer for workers could be a model...

MARTIN Most states are working on smoke free workplaces, generally, rather than tackling the bar issue. California is about 5 years ahead of most of the rest of the states, just because we started in 1988. And many states are duplicating, with variations, our effective media community activity school program. So I think it's down the line, and I know for sure that other states have benefited from our successes and from our mistakes as well. I was just at a conference where I said, "Watch out for this, and do this for sure". So, I think it will slowly come across the United States,

NEMA Did you know waitresses have four times greater chance of getting cancer, and more than twice the average in heart attacks? I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week 621.3

Guest Carolyn Martin, spokesperson, California chapter, American Lung Assn.

Topic California's bar smoking ban/acceptance

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA California restaurant and bar workers are better protected than those in other states because, by law, smoking is not allowed there. The ban on smoking in bars was implemented in January, three years after the restaurant ban, and already the compliance is up around 70%. Carolyn Martin of the American Lung Association California branch...

MARTIN Well, it is. I think it's one of those laws like the seat belt law. When the seat belt law was first passed, people were resistant to that, and it took a long time to get compliant. But now everyone says, Of course we have to buckle up. it's safer for us. And I think that once we're successful with this, and we see more and more bar owners saying, Hey, this is working, this is good....I think it'll be very difficult to go back to those smoke filled rooms, everyone says Ooh, they stink!

NEMA The bar smoking ban is still under assault in the California legislature, but Martin says the chance is great that the ban will survive, protecting those who work in bars. And business reportedly went up after the restaurant smoking ban...bar owners are hoping the same for theirs. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week 621.4

Guest Lou Mensch, owner, Father's Place, Santa Monica, CA

Topic California bar smoking ban/opportunity

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA The California bar smoking ban seems like a good idea to Lou Mensch, owner of Father's Place in Santa Monica...his business is up...

MENSCH Supposing the bar industry got together and said, Look, We're going to hire a marketing expert to tell us, give us suggestions for turning this industry around. If they hired me, I'd come in and say, Well, with one stroke, you could market to five times as many people as you ever marketed to before. And that one stroke is having every establishment smoke free. I think It's a golden opportunity for us to turn the industry around...the perfect thing to bring economic viability back to the bars and gaming clubs of California.

NEMA The controversial ban makes the workplace safer for bartenders, waitresses and other workers. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week 621.5

Guest Lou Mensch, owner, Father's Place, Santa Monica, CA

Topic The California bar smoking ban

Host/Producer Steve Girard

NEMA California has banned smoking in bars, in order to make them safe for workers. Lou Mensch owns Father's Place in Santa Monica...

MENSCH When the coal industry was told that it had to protect its miners, it was extremely reluctant to do so....it felt that the economic viability of the industry would be destroyed. When the textile industries in the South were told that they had to protect the lungs of their workers, they said the same thing. Every industry has regulation, and the responsibility of an employer to provide a health workplace for their staff overrides every other consideration. You cannot have...I don't believe you can have an unhealthy workplace and a health business. You don't want to be in a position where you are killing the people who work for you, so you can make a profit.

NEMA Since Lou Mensch made his bar smoke free, his business has gone up.

I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.