Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Particulate Matter ([PM.Sub.2.5]) and Carbon Monoxide from Secondhand Smoke outside Bars and Restaurants in Downtown Athens, Georgia

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Particulate Matter ([PM.Sub.2.5]) and Carbon Monoxide from Secondhand Smoke outside Bars and Restaurants in Downtown Athens, Georgia

Article excerpt

Introduction

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is the mixture of smoke given off at the burning end (side-stream smoke) of tobacco products and the mainstream smoke exhaled by smokers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2006). Molecular, animal, and epidemiologic studies have provided compelling evidence that exposure to SHS causes disease and premature death in humans (HHS, 2006). Health effects include cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in the general population, as well as lower respiratory tract infections, asthma exacerbation, and cognitive decline in children (Alipour, Deschamps, & Lesage 2006; Cook & Strachan, 1997; International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC], 2004; Jaakkola, 2002; Jaakkola & Gissler, 2004; Janson, 2004; Law & Wald, 2003; Rizzi et al., 2004; Trimble et al., 2005; Vineis et al., 2005; World Health Organization [WHO], 1999; Yolton, Dietrich, Auinger, Lanphear, & Hornung, 2005).

This increasing body of scientific evidence showing elevated disease risk among nonsmokers exposed to SHS has led to the passage of indoor smoking bans and restrictions in workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars. As of November 2009, 17,068 municipalities in the U.S. were covered by a 100% smoke-free provision in workplaces, restaurants, or bars by a state, commonwealth, or local law, covering 71.0% of the U.S. population. Thirty-eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia have local laws in effect that require 100% smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, or bars (American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation [ANRF], 2009a). Although the state of Georgia does not have a 100% smoke-free law, a statewide partial smoking ban was passed in July 2005 banning smoking in restaurants and bars that serve or employ minors. Athens-Clarke County, where the University of Georgia is located, passed its 100% smoke-free law in 2005, prohibiting smoking in all restaurants and bars but not in all workplaces (ANRF, 2009b).

Efforts to control SHS exposure are also seen globally. In March 2004, Ireland became the first country to implement smoke-free indoor workplaces, restaurants, and bars (Office of Tobacco Control, 2004). Similar legislations and smoking restrictions of various degrees and jurisdictions are being passed in New Zealand, England, Scotland, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong, among others (Arnott, Dockrell, Sandford, & Will more, 2007; Kohli, 2006; Lal & Siahpush, 2008; Lam et al., 2002; Luk, Ferrence, & Gmel, 2006). Smoke-free environments offer the greatest protection for smokers and nonsmokers and this protection is most effectively achieved by enacting smoking bans (HHS, 2000).

In response to indoor smoking bans and restrictions, smokers are moving outdoors to sidewalks and outdoor seating areas to smoke. The potential increase in SHS exposure to nonsmokers in these outdoor settings is therefore a growing public health concern. Studies in the literature have focused almost exclusively on indoor SHS levels and associated adverse health endpoints. Thus, empirical data on the magnitude of exposure and extent of the effects of street level or outdoor SHS on human health is limited, which hinders risk assessment and policy making. Interest has grown recently in characterizing SHS exposure outdoors (Hall et al., 2009; Klepeis, Ott, & Switzer, 2007). Hall and co-authors used salivary cotinine to assess SHS exposure outside of restaurants and bars in the same city as our study. While use of salivary cotinine is very specific to tobacco smoke and noninvasive, the analysis may be expensive and time consuming. Klepeis and co-authors assessed outdoor SHS exposure by measuring particulate matter (PM) of various sizes in public outdoor locations and in a residential patio. The study by Klepeis and co-authors begins to provide valuable data on typical outdoor versus indoor SHS levels, effects of wind, and proximity to smokers on SHS concentrations based on PM measurements. …

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