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Secondhand smoke exposure (PM2.5) in outdoor dining areas and its correlates.


Cancer Council Victoria, Carlton, Australia.



This study assessed the magnitude of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure when people smoke in outdoor dining areas and explored conditions influencing exposure levels.


Data were gathered from 69 outdoor dining areas in Melbourne, Australia, during April/May 2007. Sitting at tables within 1 metre of an active smoker, the authors measured the concentration of particulate pollution (PM(2.5)) using TSI SidePak Personal Aerosol Monitors. PM(2.5) data were recorded by the monitor at 30-second intervals, and data were collected over an average of 25.8 minutes per venue. Information was collected about the presence of overhead coverings and the number of patrons and lit cigarettes.


The average background level of PM(2.5) was 8.4 microg/m(3) (geometric mean (GM)=6.1 microg/m(3)), increasing to an average of 17.6 microg/m(3) (GM=12.7 microg/m(3)) over the observational period and 27.3 microg/m(3) (GM=17.6 microg/m(3)) during the time that cigarettes were actively smoked near the monitor. There was substantial variation in exposure levels, with a maximum peak concentration of 483.9 microg/m(3) when there were lit cigarettes close to the monitor. Average exposure levels increased by around 30% for every additional active smoker within 1 metre of the monitor. Being situated under an overhead cover increased average exposure by around 50%.


When individuals sit in outdoor dining venues where smokers are present it is possible that they will be exposed to substantial SHS levels. Significant increases in exposure were observed when monitors were located under overhead covers, and as the number of nearby smokers increased. The role of outdoor smoking restrictions in minimising exposure to SHS must be considered.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Health Promot J Austr. 2010 Aug;21(2):99-105.

Second hand smoke in alfresco areas.

Stafford JDaube MFranklin P.


WA Tobacco Document Searching Program, Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia.



There are moves to ban smoking in outdoor areas of pubs, restaurants and cafes. Some argue that this is unnecessary as exposure to second hand smoke (SHS) is minimal. The aim of this study was to determine potential exposure of patrons to SHS in outdoor areas of eating and drinking venues.


Concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were measured in the alfresco areas of 28 cafes and pubs. Data were collected on the number of smokers present during sampling and factors that could influence PM2.5 concentrations. PM2.5concentrations for periods with and without smokers were compared using paired and independent sample tests.


PM2.5 concentrations were significantly increased when there was at least one smoker compared to periods with no smoking (14.25microg/m3 and 3.98 g/m3, respectively). There was evidence of a dose response increase with mean concentrations for none, one and two or more smokers of 3.98, 10.59and 17.00microg/m3, respectively. The differences remained significant after controlling for other factors. When two or more people were smoking, average PM2.5reached levels the US Environmental Protection Agency warns may put particularly sensitive people at risk of respiratory symptoms.


Smoking increases PM2.5concentrations in outdoor areas to levels that are potentially hazardous to health.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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