Monday, August 18, 2003

Pizza Hut ban smoking

It's a hard life being a smoker these days. Just one rung on the ladder below paedophiles and Nazis in the outcast stakes. So, no surprise that a UK nationwide chain of restaurants has decided to ban smoking.

According to the BBC, Brian Rimmer, operations director for Pizza Hut, said: 'Pizza Hut strongly believes that families should be able to take time to have a leisurely meal in a restaurant without exposing their children to other people's smoke. It is equally important that our staff can work in a smoke-free environment.'

The links between second-hand smoke and disease are tenuous. At a common sense level, something that gives you a fraction of the dose of actually smoking should only give you a fraction of the increased risk - if that. At worst, there is an increased risk of lung cancer of about 20-30 percent compared to non-smokers. But the risk for non-smokers is very low. So, 20-30 percent above a very low risk is still a very low risk. And this is probably as high as the risk can be stated. In May 2003, a report reanalysing the biggest study on passive smoking concluded there was no risk to adults at all (see my earlier note about this).

It shouldn't be too hard for smokers, though. After all, who ever lingered in a Pizza Hut?

Pizza Hut bans smoking, BBC News, 17 August 2003

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