Aberdeen University is to conduct a study into the impact of banning smoking on the health of bar staff in Scotland.
Researchers are to assess the health of 360 bar staff in Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Borders, in a £140,000 study. It is hoped some initial findings will be available within a few months.
The smoking ban in enclosed public places came into force yesterday across Scotland.
The Bar Workers’ Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure (BHETSE) project is part of an overall NHS strategy to evaluate the effect of the new Act.
The university’s Dr Sean Semple said: “Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a cause of considerable ill-health, with estimates suggesting ETS causes between 1,500 and 2,000 non-smoker deaths every year in Scotland.
“Workers in the hospitality sector have particularly high levels of ETS exposure. Our study sets out to find out whether the health of workers in Scotland’s bars does improve after the ban is implemented.”
The study also aims to determine if bar workers who smoke are encouraged to give up smoking and whether the experience of working in a smoke-free environment has influenced their attitudes towards the ban.