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Study Shows Vigo County Quality of Air Improving

It's been two years since the smoke-free air law went into effect statewide. Both bar patrons and workers alike in Vigo County will notice a considerable change in the air quality.
 Many nonsmokers were happy to see the state rule bars and restaurants a smoke-free environment.

But they were joined by a shocking demographic.

"Nonsmokers aside, even smokers don't want to step into a room that's so thick with smoke they can't see their hand in front of their own face," said Max Bedrava, a Terre Haute native. "It's unpleasant, it smells horrible."

Professors at the University of Southern Indiana studied air quality at venues before and after the laws went into effect.

Their data shows a drastic change.

"Fine particles in the air like those omitted from burning cigarettes decreased by 85% once those laws went into effect," Libby Ray explained, Vigo County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coordinator.

Max Bedrava, a smoker himself, says the new ban was something he welcomed.

"It really didn't bother me," added Max. "There's some really good smoking areas where you can step outside and have a cigarette and I don't mind getting the fresh air anyways."

But Libby Ray says the bar worker is just as vulnerable to second hand smoke as the customer.

"If they have to be in a confined space for hours on end breathing those fine particles, it can do a lot of damage to their respiratory and cardiovascular systems," said Libby.

Officials say Vigo County's decision to make all bars and restaurants smoke-free improves the quality of life for both county residents and its visitors.

"It's good because people prefer to come to and vacation to places where they can breathe clean air," Ray concluded.
Vigo County and Terre Haute officials have banned smoking from all bars in the area since the law went into effect.
They even went a step further as to include other hospitality venues not covered by the state to be smoke-free.
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