Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Support is growing for smoke free restaurants in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco held a press conference Monday, February 22nd along with a volunteer from the OU Cancer Research Center and Ken Selby, owner of Mazzio's Pizza to speak about the importance of Oklahoma restaurants going smoke free.

You can read the news covereage below:
Mazzio’s owner brings support for smoke-free restaurants bill in Oklahoma

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Research on Secondhand Smoke Finds Significant Hazards

Media Contact: Diane Clay For Immediate Release
Email: Feb. 12, 2010
Phone: (405) 271-2323

New Research on Secondhand Smoke Finds Significant Hazards
Report focuses on Oklahomans in the workplace

OKLAHOMA CITY – New research by the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center (OTRC) shows that concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke inhaled in smoking rooms of restaurants and bars are exceptionally high and hazardous to health.

According to the study, which appears in the center’s new report “Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Oklahoma Workplaces,” the average particulate level measured in restaurant smoking rooms was beyond the hazardous extreme based on levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The level found in bars was even worse.

“These levels are exceptionally high and not healthy for the employees and patrons exposed to particles found in secondhand smoke,” said Heather Basara, M.D., an industrial hygienist and lead investigator on the research.

Tobacco smoke levels were evaluated based on measurements of very fine suspended particulates in the air, particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which come primarily from tobacco smoke.

Levels averaged 380 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) in the restaurant smoking rooms tested, and 655 µg/m3 in the bars. Restaurants with no smoking averaged just 26 µg/m3.

The EPA scale ranks outdoor levels of particulate pollution as “unhealthy” at 66-150, “very unhealthy”’ at 151-250, and “hazardous” at higher concentrations such as the levels found in the Oklahoma restaurant smoking rooms and bars tested for this report.

Robert McCaffree, M.D., Co-Director of OTRC, said, “Secondhand smoke exposure is a serious health hazard, accounting for approximately 700 deaths a year in Oklahoma, mostly from heart disease – including heart attacks – and lung cancer. Even brief exposure is harmful. Because this exposure is readily preventable, business owners and public policy makers would be well-advised to act as soon as possible to assure smokefree environments for all public places and all indoor workplaces.”

Particulates were monitored using a TSI Sidepak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitor. Sixty-second average readings for at least 30 minutes were recorded in 67 indoor locations in central Oklahoma; following nationally recognized protocols established by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Time weighted averages were calculated for each of the locations. The full report is accessible at the OTRC Web site at
The Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center is part of the OU Cancer Institute at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The mission of the OTRC is to reduce the burden of tobacco related health problems in Oklahoma by stimulating the generation and dissemination of knowledge and the implementation and diffusion of effective practices.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Could obesity be a threat to our national security?

 Obesity threatens national security

By Johnnie E. Wilson

6:29 p.m. Monday, February 8, 2010

When first lady Michelle Obama launches her campaign to reduce child obesity today, many Americans will be cheering her on — including parents, teachers, doctors, business leaders ... and retired generals and admirals such as me. Generals and admirals?

Yes, child obesity has become so serious in this country that military leaders are viewing the epidemic as a potential threat to our national security.

Obesity, it turns out, is the No. 1 reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service, and it is posing serious health problems within the services. The issue is causing heartbreak among some military families that have always had a son or daughter in the service. Today, otherwise excellent recruit prospects, with generations of military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too heavy.

A recent report by Mission: Readiness, an organization made up of retired admirals and generals, found that an alarming 75 percent of all young people aged 17 to 24 are unable to join the military. Many young adults do not qualify because they failed to finish high school or have criminal records, but the No. 1 reason, our report found, is obesity.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Human Health Issue

Yesterday, the Oklahoman published an op-ed written by Dr. Janet Spradlin on why Oklahoma needs to go smoke free.

Read it here.

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