The ban on smoking in public places in the Republic of Ireland has significantly improved the health of hospitality workers, according to a new study.

Investigation by Professor Luke Clancy of Trinity College Dublin, showed clear evidence that the ban has cleaned up the air in licensed premises and restaurants, reports The Times.

“Prior to the smoking ban being introduced, we knew intuitively that it would bring health benefits, but now two years after the ban, we have quantative proof,” he said.

“Our research has shown that particulate matter in the air, which is a feature of some pollution, has decreased by up to 80% in pubs, and workers are breathing better. This is the first time we have measured the pollution and measured the effects.” 

Professor Clancy said he and colleagues had measured particles in more than 40 licensed premises before the ban was enforced and a year afterwards to gauge the impact. 

He also recruited 81 male bar workers and measured their lung function before the ban and 12 months afterwards. “We found a 30-40% decrease in shortness of breath, coughs and watery eyes. Lung function in the non-smokers also improved,” he said. 

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By Daniel Thomas

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