There was once a time when Canadians could smoke in restaurants. In fact, that time wasn’t all that long ago! Here in Alberta, smoking was banned in public spaces and workplaces in 2008. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 12 years since we could last light up in a public eatery. Today, you cannot legally spark up a cigarette within five metres of the doors and windows of professional establishments and public property.

Gone are the days when patrons entering restaurants were asked “smoking or non-smoking?” No longer are there two separate seating sections to cater to those with the deadly habit. Having an indoor smoking section sounds crazy, by today’s standards, doesn’t it? No one needs to be reminded that cigarette smoking is deadly.

Between the warnings on the cigarette cartons and the countless “no smoking” signs strewn throughout public places all over the country, it has been made abundantly clear that cigarettes are unwelcome. To put a clear stamp on it, they are cancer-causing killers – no question about it. You would think that cigarette smoking couldn’t get any worse. But, believe it or not, when paired with another culprit for lung cancer, it can. That culprit is radon.

What is radon?

“Radon gas is one of the most deadly and overlooked health risks today,” explains Lung Cancer Canada, “Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas created from the decay of uranium in minerals present in rock, soil and water. Radon is present in every indoor environment…Radon is extremely radioactive. It emits alpha radiation as it decays. Once inside the lungs, radon decay products can genetically damage delicate tissues – this can lead to the development of lung cancer.”

The Lung Cancer Canada website goes on to explain that radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Needless to say, it’s important to minimize exposure to radon as much as possible – whether you’re a smoker or not.

Radon-exposed smokers are at much higher risks of lung cancer.

Cigarette smokers are advised to take extreme precautions. As the Government of Canada reveals, “people who smoke and are exposed to elevated levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.” In fact, they also report that “radon exposure is linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers.”

How can you minimize radon exposure?

Radon is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. The only way to detect it, in order to minimize exposure, is to have your home tested. points out that the risk from radon exposure is long-term and depends on the level of radon, the length of the exposure and one’s smoking habits. The risks are not to be taken lightly. Lung Cancer Canada reports that approximately 3,200 Canadians die annually from radon exposure.

The Enviro-Works Inc. team can help you avoid the dangers associated with radon exposure. We offer both long-term and short-term Radon Testing using the E-Perm Electret System and a C-NRPP Certified Radon Lab. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 780-457-4652 or email us at