Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Among bartenders, pulmonary function
improved after the establishment of smoke-free bars and taverns. Similarly,
the prevalence of respiratory symptoms declined markedly after the smoking
ban. Drs Bell and Urbach raise an important issue: is the improvement in pulmonary
function clinically significant?
As we discussed in our article, we believe that the modest improvement
in pulmonary function represents a clinically significant change. Importantly,
the increase in FEV1 (1.2%) is similar to that observed after personal
smoking cessation in previous studies (1.2% to 4.8%).1,2
Among bartenders with complete workplace ETS exposure cessation, we observed
an even larger improvement in FEV1 (4.5%). Epidemiologic studies3- 5 linking ETS
exposure with decreased pulmonary function also support the clinical relevance
of our findings.
Eisner MD, Blanc PD. Bartenders' Pulmonary Function After Establishment of a Smoke-Free Workplace—Reply. JAMA. 1999;282(7):629. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-7-jbk0818