MUSICIANS IN SUPPORT OF SMOKEFREE AIR
“Having been a heavy smoker in the past I realize the irrefutable damage it can do not only to oneself, but to nonsmokers as well. Our musicians and fans need to be protected from secondhand smoke. This is a health equity issue – everyone needs to breathe! I find it alarming that more music cities aren’t already smokefree. What’s going on Atlanta, Nashville, Las Vegas? It’s time for all cities to go smokefree!”
AL BELL, Former Chairman & Owner, Stax Records. Former President, Motown Records Group. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Al Bell Presents, LLC. Al Bell Presents is a high quality global business focused on “working with others” in pursuit of “global economic development and empowerment opportunities” utilizing the powerful spirit immersed in music and entertainment.
Just 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart damage similar to that of habitual smokers; nonsmokers’ heart arteries show a reduced ability to dilate, diminishing the ability of the heart to get life-sustaining blood. Damage to the endothelial cells of arteries persists for at least 24 hours and interferes with the body’s efforts to repair itself. In addition, the same half hour of secondhand smoke exposure activates blood platelets, which can initiate the process of atherosclerosis (blockage of the heart’s arteries) that leads to heart attacks. These effects explain other research showing that nonsmokers regularly exposed to SHS suffer death or morbidity rates 30 percent higher than those of unexposed nonsmokers.1,2,3
“I am the official music ambassador of Macon, Georgia. We have big things going on in Atlanta. We want to have smoke free environments for our entertainment, the health of our citizens, the health of the children. and the health of the people who participate in all these amazing things we are doing.”
Joey Stuckey is an award-winning blind guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer, producer, radio and television personality, music columnist, educator and sound engineer. He is also the official music ambassador for his home town of Macon, Georgia.
SHS is a major source of pollution – and is a risk factor for pulmonary disease, asthma, and lung cancer. Three cigarettes smoldering in a room emit up to 10-fold more particulate matter (PM) pollution than an ecodiesel engine. High levels of PM exposure from SHS may account for frequent episodes of short term respiratory damage in nonsmokers.4
“When delivering a musical performance I feel it is paramount for the audience to have the best experience possible! That includes a smokefree environment that isn’t toxic to their health, or mine. I proudly lend my voice to support smoke-free performance spaces and work environments.”
Eric Adcock is a 3-time GRAMMY Nominee, Pianist, Songwriter, and Producer from Abbeville, Louisiana.
Bartenders working in smoke-filled bars are more likely than other workers to report having red or irritated eyes, coughing in the morning, coughing during the rest of the day, runny noses or sneezing, and a sore or scratchy throat.5
“As a frequent touring musician, singing in a smokefree venue is an absolute must. Smoke, of course, affects my lungs and breathing, and irritates my voice. We pay the price… but so does the audience, as they don’t get our very best performance.”
After New York State’s smokefree law went into effect, the number of hospitality workers who reportedly experienced irritation of the eye, nose, and throat declined by 62%, 34%, and 45%, respectively. Before the state law went into effect, 59% of hospitality workers reported respiratory symptoms, such as morning cough, shortness of breath, or bringing up phlegm. After the smokefree law took effect, the number of workers who reportedly experienced morning cough dropped by 46%. Another study showed that within three months of implementation of the law, the prevalence of workers reporting sensory symptoms declined by 50%.6,7
“I want to leave a longer music Legacy to my family and fans than my father Zydeco Legend Roy Carrier was able to leave to me. He had to play in smoky places all of his career. And he suffered for it. Smokefree is a way to give me and my fans a longer life filled with music.”
Chubby Carrier is undeniably “The World’s Premier Zydeco Showman.” Born on July 1, 1967 in Churchpoint, Louisiana, Chubby is the third generation of zydeco artists with such famous relatives as Roy Carrier (father), Warren Carrier (grandfather), and cousins Bebe and Calvin Carrier who are presently considered legends in zydeco history. Chubby began his musical career at the age of 12 by playing drums with his father’s band. He began playing the accordion at the age of 15. By age 17, Chubby had begun to play with Terrance Siemien and toured the world for 2 1/2 years, before forming his own band in 1989. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band have recorded ten CDs over the past 22 years of Chubby’s professional career. His band has traveled all over the world, performing to audiences in all parts of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Canada. North Africa and Europe. Chubby and the band travel 150-175 days a year, taking his act to big festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Chicago Blues Fest. Summerfest (Milwaukee), Memphis in May, and several festivals in Europe. Chubby has also done guest appearances on recordings for Tab Benoit, 6Was9, and Jimmy Thackery. Ann Wilson of the group Heart encourages Chubby to “continue the great sound that you have. This sound will take you places.”
The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Secondhand Smoke has concluded that 100% smokefree workplace policies are the only “effective way to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace.”8
“As a musician I want to be present and feel connected to my environment. Playing in smoky clubs and casinos is an unwelcomed distraction and, more importantly, an unhealthy place for any musician. I’m glad to be a voice in support of smokefree air for everyone.”
Jessie Bridges, a native of California, is an Indie/Folk Singer-songwriter and an Actress.
Smokefree laws add value to establishments. Restaurants in smokefree cities have a higher market value at resale (an average of 16% higher) than comparable restaurants located in smoke-filled cities.9
“As a vocalist, performing in a smokefree environment is essential to sustaining my voice! I have been blessed to have traveled the world, singing in various cities … It’s always a joy to step onto a stage where the air is clean and free of smoke! It’s good for our planet – it’s good for our lives!”
Terry Steele is a Grammy-Nominated songwriter, a solo artist, and lead vocalist for the group Hiroshima. He wrote “Here and Now,” which earned Luther Vandross his first Grammy Award.
A national 2015 Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans favor smokefree public places.10
“Let’s clear the air…smokefree venues help me to live well and sing about it! I support Smokefree Music Cities. Won’t You?”
Yvette Landry is a Grammy nominated, award-winning vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and noted children’s author. She fronts both, “The Yvette Landry Band,” as well as “Yvette Landry & The Jukes.” A Governor to the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, and a Cultural Ambassador, Yvette performs as an award-winning Louisiana honky-tonk artist, who travels throughout the United States, Canada and Europe sharing her own music as well as the Cajun culture.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) adopted a position document that states: “At present, the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity… No other engineering approaches, including current and advanced dilution ventilation or air cleaning technologies, have demonstrated or should be relied upon to control health risks from ETS [environmental tobacco smoke] exposure in spaces where smoking occurs… Because of ASHRAE’s mission to act for the benefit of the public, it encourages elimination of smoking in the indoor environment as the optimal way to minimize ETS exposure.”11
“Living in Los Angeles, I automatically assume that a venue will be smokefree. If I walk into a venue where it isn’t I feel assaulted by the air. The smoke gets into my jeans, my hair, my eyes, my lungs, my mood! Sadly, I don’t think I could stay.”
Shelly is a 2 time GRAMMY-Nominated songwriter, a musician, and author of “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter.” Best known for writing the culturally resonant female empowerment anthems, “What A Girl Wants” (Christina Aguilera) and “Bitch” (Meredith Brooks).
The average level of cotinine (metabolized nicotine) among nonsmokers increased by 456% and the average levels of the carcinogen NNAL increased by 112% after four hours of exposure to secondhand smoke in a smoke-filled casino with a “sophisticated” ventilation system.12
“Smokefree shows make the job easier and more enjoyable because I can breathe. Breathing is important for singers horn players, bartenders, servers and tech crew because if we can’t breathe we can’t do our jobs, whatever your job is in the venue. I play around the world and it is rare to walk into venues that allow smoking, it is always a jarring memory of a less civilized time. I’m grateful for smoke free music.”
Paul Sanchez is a native New Orleanian singer-songwriter, actor, and founding member of the rock band “Cowboy Mouth.” He was featured in the HBO series “Treme” as himself and as the creative force behind the musical “Nine Lives” – based on Dan Baum’s novel.
Smoke-filled casinos have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks in rush hour traffic. After going smokefree, indoor air pollution virtually disappears in the same environments.13
“The dangers of second and thirdhand smoke are very well documented. It’s just not possible for me to perform in a smoke filled atmosphere. Aside from the health risks and the uncomfortable vocal experience, it’s just never a pleasant experience when you return home and your clothes and equipment are destroyed with the smell of smoke.”
Eamonn McCrystal is a Multi-Emmy Award winning Northern Irish pop tenor, actor, TV host and producer based in Los Angeles, California.
Smokefree workplaces decrease cigarette consumption in continuing smokers, as well as decrease adult smoking prevalence. Smokefree laws result in fewer respiratory symptoms in workers, and there is strong evidence that these laws result in decreased hospital admissions for heart attacks. There is no negative economic impact for restaurants and bars going smokefree.14
“Our voices help us share our stories and smoke filled venues make it hard for us to do just that. We must breathe clean air to perform at our best. Not to mention, secondhand smoke is a serious threat to our bodies and everyone in the audience!”
Northern California brother-sister duo, Connor and Karlee, are touring singer-songwriters.
Bartenders working in smoke-filled bars are more likely than other workers to report having red or irritated eyes, coughing in the morning, coughing during the rest of the day, runny noses or sneezing, and a sore or scratchy throat.15
Celtic Songbird Chloë Agnew supports performing in smokefree environments.
“A smokefree venue is just as important to the musicians as it is to the audience. It creates a safe, clean environment for all, and it’s important we lead the way in setting the precedent for a healthier world for the generations to come.”
Chloë Agnew is a renown singer, songwriter and actress, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Chloë, originally from Dublin, Ireland, gained international acclaim with her music group Celtic Woman and was the youngest original member when she joined at age 14.
#chloëagnew #chloë #celticsongbird #celticwoman #thethingaboutyou #independentartists #singersongwriter #irish
Nonsmokers and former smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke in confined workplaces display a significant increase in DNA damage associated with a decrease in DNA repair capacity.16
“Smoking in venues is a deadly proposition. Many talented people have died as a result of second-hand smoke. I was recently at my own performance and stepped outdoors for some fresh air, but what I got instead was a mouthful of second-hand smoke. This one unfortunate incident rendered me bedridden for two weeks. Smoking should be outlawed—it is a poison that surely kills!”
Kaylene Peoples is an award-winning musician, music producer, and film director. She has also performed with numerous Grammy-winning artists. As a film composer with many soundtrack credits under her belt, Kaylene was inspired to create Bella Composers, a performing arts charity for women composers, and she is the music curator for the First Edition Artemis Women In Action Music Festival 2019.
Smokefree ordinances in Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin resulted in a decrease in the bartenders’ mean level of exposure to secondhand smoke at work from 20.7 hours a week pre-ordinance to 1.6 hours a week post-ordinance. Secondhand smoke exposure in other places decreased from 8.2 hours to 4.1 hours, and home exposure decreased from 3.9 hours to 2.8 hours. The prevalence of eight upper respiratory symptoms significantly decreased during the post-ordinance period among non-smoking bartenders. Smokers reported a significant reduction of two symptoms.17
“I tried smoking cigarettes once because I wanted that gruff sound like Wilson Pickett, but after 2 weeks, I quit, and it’s a blessing I didn’t get hooked. I still work in places around the USA where there is smoke, like casinos and other venues. I usually have red eyes, and I start coughing so I would love to perform in smoke free environments.”
Lenny Williams is the former lead vocalist of legendary R&B group Tower Of Power, a multi-platinum artist, a recipient of the BMI Songwriter’s Award, and has shared the stage with many other music legends.
The 2002 Environmental Health Information Service’s 10th Report on Carcinogens classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A (Human) Carcinogen–a substance known to cause cancer in humans. There is no safe level of exposure for Group A toxins. Reducing or diluting the level of smoke through ventilation does not equate to protection from the health hazards of secondhand smoke.18
“Every time I play in a concert hall, club or recording studio that is smokefree – which is 99% of the time now – I am grateful to everyone who relentlessly fought this battle for both performers and audiences. I was around when things were very different and really appreciate the positive change.”
Josh Sklair is songwriter, musician, and a two-two Grammy winning producer for two Etta James albums, “Let’s Roll” and “Blues to the Bone.” Josh was not only Etta’s musical director and lead guitarist for 25 years, but he has worked with countless other renown artists, including Jeffrey Osborne, The Blues Brothers, Sohpie B. Hawkins, and many more. He is currently touring with Paul Anka.
Cadmium, benzene, lead, and arsenic are just a few of the more than 4,000 hazardous chemical components of secondhand smoke that are also toxins common to blue-collar workplaces. Synergistically, cigarette smoke and workplace toxins can multiply the risk of getting lung cancer by as much as 53 times in blue-collar workers.19
“It is not possible to perform at my best, unless my lungs are strong and clear. Every stage I step onto is my office, no matter the size of the venue. If you are a true supporter of the musical arts, insisting on a smoke free environment is one of the most important ways you can support the longevity and health of the artists you love! And you will be supporting your own health at the same time! And your health, the FAN, is absolutely vital to us, the ARTISTS!”
Ken Stacey, Lead Vocalist for 5 Time Grammy Nominated Progressive Pop Rock Super Group, Ambrosia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “Ventilation does not effectively protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.”20
“When I first started playing in rock clubs, I used to see the crowd through a haze of low hanging cigarette smoke. By the end of the night, not only did my clothes, instrument and gear all reek of cigarettes, but my eyes and lungs would hurt for days. Let’s help to make smoky clubs go the way of my old 4 track cassette recorder and become a relic from an earlier, less advanced era.”
Hailed as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” by BBC Radio, Tracy Silverman has contributed significantly to the repertoire and development of the 6-sring electric violin and what he calls “post-classical” string playing. His groundbreaking work defies musical boundaries and is helping to redefine the role of the violin in contemporary music.
The 2010 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease,” confirmed that “Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke. … Damage from tobacco smoke is immediate.”21
“As a singer, there’s nothing worse than entering a club or casino and being confronted by that dreadful smell of cigarette smoke. It can often be a make or break in terms of a good performance. Second hand smoke should play no part in the workplace of a professional musician.”
“Playing in smoke filled venues in the 70’s and 80’s gave me a hacking cough and triggered Asthma. Since most venues have gone smokeless my breathing is better and my overall health has improved.”
Bassist, Vocalist, Composer
Photo by Mary Ann Halpin for Vanity Fair
“As an artist who doesn’t smoke, but has been around many smokers, I can now see and feel the difference between a smoke-free environment and a smoking environment. Because smoking affects everyone’s health (yours, mine, ours!), I think we should help create a smoke-free environment for us all. It not only affects our voices, but our health and our children’s health. Without second-hand smoke, we’ll all experience longer healthier living!”
Ronee Martin is a singer-songwriter and native Virginian who currently resides in Los Angeles.
She was formerly signed as a recording artist to MoJazz Records/Motown. In addition to her own illustrious singing career, she feels fortunate to have co-wrote a song, “This Is Love,” and have it recorded by one of her childhood idols, Gladys Knight. In 2016, Ronee was a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent, Season 11.
“After a gig in a venue full of 2nd hand smoke my throat is irritated, sinuses are inflamed, and eyes are burning…. That can’t be good for my voice.”
Sean Ardoin is a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and Creole-Zydeco musician extraordinaire. The legacy started with legendary Creole musician Amedee’ Ardoin, the first Louisiana Cajun or Creole accordionist to record; followed by Bois Sec Ardoin, one of the best-known practitioners of the state’s rural Creole sound for six decades, to Sean’s father, Lawrence “Black” Ardoin and the Ardoin Brothers, then to Sean. He co-lead the critically-acclaimed Zydeco outfit Double Clutchin’ for 10 years, then started Sean Ardoin + Zydekool’s. Sean has performed at Carnegie Hall, worldwide festivals, performed live on BET’s Comic View, been featured in commercials, had his music in movies and on TV. Sean founded the Creole Hall of Fame in order to recognize the Creole contribution to the world. Sean also served on the Governing board of the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy.
@seanardoin – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Velo, snapchat, and LinkedIn
“Smoke-free venues give me peace of mind that my vocal chords will still be working by the end of the show. The times I have played in smoking venues, the second hand smoke has affected my vocals for a day or two afterwards,
which is never a good thing for a professional vocalist. I’d love to see Tulsa become a smoke-free venue music city!”
Casii Stephan is a singer/songwriter with comparisons to Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King, her voice will envelop your soul like a “warm blanket” (Tulsa World). Leading from the keyboard, Casii’s songwriting
uniquely blends her soulful voice with emotional lyrics that speak to your heart and pop hooks that get stuck in your head.
- Otsuka, R., et al. “Acute effects of passive smoking on the coronary circulation in healthy young adults,” Journal of the American Medical Association 286(4): 436-441, July 25, 2001.
- Burghuber, O., et al. “Platelet sensitivity to prostacyclin in smokers and non-smokers,” Chest 90(1): 34-38, July 1986.
- Heiss, C., et al. “Brief secondhand smoke exposure depresses endothelial progenitor cells activity and endothelial function,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 51(18): 1760-1771, May 6, 2008.
- Invernizzi, G., et al. “Particulate matter from tobacco versus diesel car exhaust: an educational perspective,” Tobacco Control 13(3): 219-221, September 2004.
- Palmersheim, K.A., et al., “Madison Bartenders Baseline Survey: Preliminary Findings – Brief Report,” Tobacco Surveillance & Evaluation Program, University of Wisconsin, Comprehensive Cancer Center, September 2005.
- RTI International, “First Annual Independent Evaluation of New York’s Tobacco Control Program,” New York State Department of Health, November 2004.
- Farrelly, M.C., et al. “Changes in hospitality workers’ exposure to secondhand smoke following the implementation of New York’s smoke-free law,” Tobacco Control 14(4): 236-241, August 2005.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.
- Alamar, B., et al. “Smoke-free ordinances increase restaurant profit and value,” Contemporary Economic Policy 22(4): 520-525, October 2004.
- McCarthy, J., “Ban on smoking in public retains majority support in U.S.,” Gallup, July 20, 2015.
- Samet, J., et al. “ASHRAE position document on environmental tobacco smoke,” American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), adopted October 22, 2010, reaffirmed June 29, 2016.
- Anderson, K., et al. “Metabolites of tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in nonsmoking casino patrons,” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 12: 1544-1546, December 2003.
- Repace, J., “Respirable particles and carcinogens in the air of Delaware hospitality venues before and after a smoking ban,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 46(9): 887-905, September 2004.
- Pierce, J.P., et al. “Special report: policy — effectiveness of smoke-free policies,” Lancet Oncology 9: 614-615, July 2008.
- Palmersheim, K.A., et al. “Madison Bartenders Baseline Survey: preliminary findings – brief report,” Tobacco Surveillance & Evaluation Program, University of Wisconsin, Comprehensive Cancer Center, September 2005.
- Fracasso, M.E., et al. “DNA damage and repair capacity by comet assay in lymphocytes of white-collar active smokers and passive smokers (non- and ex-smokers) at workplace,” Toxicology Letters 167(2): 131–141, December 1, 2006.
- Palmersheim, K.; Wegner, M.; Remington, P., “Health effects of smoke-free bars in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Surveillance Brief 3(1), April 2007.
- Report on Carcinogens, Tenth Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, December 2002.
- Building Trades Unions Ignite Less Tobacco [BUILT] Project, “Unions yes [and] tobacco no,” California: Department of Health Services, 2001.
- “Ventilation Does Not Effectively Protect Nonsmokers from Secondhand Smoke,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Accessed on November 5, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/protection/ventilation/index.htm