Legalization of hashish smoking lounges impacts indoor air and public well being

After years of progress on protections in opposition to secondhand tobacco smoke, a number of states and native governments now enable indoor smoking of hashish at licensed hashish companies. A brand new examine within the American Journal of Preventive Medication, printed by Elsevier, discovered that over 50 localities in the USA enable indoor smoking at these companies, exposing prospects and workers to secondhand hashish smoke (SHCS).

Whereas many states keep sturdy tobacco smoking and vaping bans to guard public well being, our analysis reveals that some state and native legal guidelines exempt hashish smoke from clear air legal guidelines and open the door to smoke-filled companies, defeating many years of public well being advances.”

Thomas L. Rotering, MPH, First Writer, Heart for Tobacco Management Analysis and Training, and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Well being Coverage Research, College of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

The researchers systematically searched authorized databases, public reporting, authorities web sites, and native legal guidelines that handle hashish smoking lounges. They discovered huge variation in how state and native governments handle SHCS publicity in these companies. All the 11 states which have legalized adult-use hashish as of June 2020 prohibit consumption in public locations, however six states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan) enable onsite consumption in licensed hashish companies topic to native authorities approval. No state prohibits native governments from implementing extra rigorous necessities. Massachusetts solely permits onsite consumption via vaporization or different nonsmoking types of consumption involving warmth.

Though the one efficient technique of stopping the well being issues related to SHCS is to require a smoke-free setting, most native legal guidelines both don’t handle SHCS or use ineffective air flow or engineering necessities. Of the 56 localities that let onsite hashish consumption companies, solely 9% require that indoors be smoke-free. Twenty-three p.c of native governments present for smoking in remoted rooms however solely require that the smoke not drift to nonsmoking areas or that there be a smoke-free worker viewing space. Different frequent native authorized necessities handle onsite odor management, air flow/filtration, and constructing location. Such necessities are sometimes imprecise, and the investigators observe that they resemble the tobacco business’s “lodging” framework by permitting smoking inside and positioning air flow or engineering controls as fixing secondhand smoke.

“After many years of progress in clearing the indoor air of tobacco smoke, we’re seeing it changed with hashish smoke utilizing the identical discredited arguments the tobacco business utilized in its unsuccessful battle in opposition to tobacco smoke restrictions. We have to study from the previous and maintain the air clear for all,” commented senior investigator Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, retired from the Heart for Tobacco Management Analysis and Training, and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Well being Coverage Research, College of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Some hashish advocates argue that designating indoor areas for renters, vacationers, and folks experiencing homelessness to smoke or vape is the one cheap various to illegally consuming in public or exposing nonsmokers to SHCS. The investigators recommend that cheap options might embody allowing exterior, out-of-view hashish use at retailers, or permitting solely using non-inhalable modes of administration that don’t pollute the air. Native officers might take into account permitting multiunit housing or different locations serving these teams to create outside, designated consumption smoking areas out of public view.

Policymakers needs to be made conscious that air flow and different engineering interventions can’t totally shield staff and patrons. “Well being authorities and native leaders ought to educate policymakers on the science of secondhand smoke remediation and advocate for a similar requirements for secondhand hashish smoking and vaping that apply to tobacco, significantly as a result of different hashish administration modes don’t pollute the air,” mentioned the authors of their paper. “The place onsite smoking or vaping is permitted, even measures resembling actually separate indoor and outside smoking areas might scale back however not get rid of SHCS publicity to patrons, employees, and residents.”


Journal reference:

Rotering, T.L., et al. (2021) Rising Indoor Air Legal guidelines for Onsite Hashish Consumption Companies within the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medication.

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