MILWAUKEE, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A University of Wisconsin study showed air quality in the state's bars and restaurants improved by more than 92 percent after a smoking ban was implemented.
The ban went into effect July 5, and the study, released by the UW Carbone Cancer Center Wednesday, analyzed the difference in air quality data from before that date and afterward, targeting 214 bars and restaurants throughout the state, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.
Before the ban, 21 percent of bars and restaurants were discovered to have "hazardous" air quality, which is the most dangerous air quality level, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. Twenty-eight percent tested a "very unhealthy" and 38 percent tested "unhealthy." A mere 13 percent had either "good" or "satisfactory" rating.
After the ban, however, more than 97 percent of the bars and restaurants whose air was tested had "good" or "satisfactory" air quality, the study said.
"Wisconsin has made a seismic leap going from hazardous air in bars and restaurants to healthy air quality, all because of the law that went into effect this past July," said study author David Ahrens, a researcher at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Community public health agencies statewide gathered air samples using air-testing equipment. Most of the testing for the study occurred on Friday and Saturday nights when the largest number of patrons and employees would have been exposed to secondhand smoke, the newspaper said.