Smoke-Free Policies Improve Air Quality in Hospitality Settings
- Breathing secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products that burn has immediate, harmful effects on health (see Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke).
- Many studies show that comprehensive smoke-free laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas of worksites and public places, including bars and restaurants, improve air quality and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.1-14
- These studies usually measure levels of respirable suspended particulates, or RSPs, before and after a smoke-free law is put in place to measure any change.
- One specific type of RSPs that are assessed in these studies is 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5).
- These particles are easily inhaled deep into the lungs.
- They are released in large amounts when tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, are burned.
Selected Peer-Reviewed Studies
Hospitality Settings (e.g., Bars, Restaurants, and Casinos)
|Studies in:||Found that:||Resulted in:|
|United States and U.S. Territories|
|Delaware, U.S. (2004)1||Statewide|
|91% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 1 casino, 6 bars, and 1 pool hall studied in Wilmington|
|Hawaii, U.S. (2008)2||Statewide|
|90% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 15 bars and restaurants on different islands|
|76% to 95% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 62 bars and restaurants studied in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area|
|New York, U.S. (2004)4||Statewide|
|84% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 20 bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys studied in Western New York|
|Puerto Rico (2011)5||Territorywide|
|88% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 10 casinos studied in the San Juan metropolitan area|
|Puerto Rico (2010)6||Territorywide|
|84% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 32 restaurants and 96% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 23 pubs and discos studied in the San Juan metropolitan area|
|Ontario, Canada (2010)7||Provincewide|
|83% to 87% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 23 coffee shops and 24 bars in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario|
|96% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 35 bars, pubs, nightclubs, bingo halls, private-member clubs, cafes, and betting shops in 6 regions|
|81% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 43 bars, restaurants, and cafes in 5 regions|
|83% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 42 pubs studied in Dublin|
|75% to 96% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 9 pubs studied in Galway|
|64% reduction in average PM2.5 levels after 1 year in 14 bars, 6 fast food restaurants, 8 restaurants, 6 video game parlors, and 6 pubs in Rome|
|86% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 41 pubs in Aberdeen and Edinburgh and the Borders and Aberdeenshire council regions|
|92% reduction in average PM2.5 levels in 178 hospitality settings in 3 regions|
- Repace J. Respirable Particles and Carcinogens in the Air of Delaware Hospitality Venues Before and After a Smoking Ban [PDF–327 KB]. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2004;46(9):887–905 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Pobutsky A, Krupitsky D, Kanja ML, Lipsher J.. Hawaii Air Quality Monitoring Assessment: Some Effects of Hawaii's Smoke-Free Work and Public Places Law [PDF–1.57 MB]. Hawaii Medical Journal 2008;67(6):149–55 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Bohac DL, Hewett MJ, Kapphahn KI, Grimsrud DT, Apte MG, Gundel LA. Change in Indoor Particle Levels After a Smoking Ban in Minnesota Bars and Restaurants. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2010;39(6 Suppl 1):S3–9 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indoor Air Quality in Hospitality Venues Before and After Implementation of a Clean Indoor Air Law—Western New York, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2004;53(44):1038–41 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Marin HA, Diaz-Toro EC. Reduced Exposure to Secondhand Smoke at Casinos in Puerto Rico After the Implementation of a Workplace Smoking Ban in 2007: A Pre-Post Design. Puerto Rico Health Science Journal 2011;30(4):182–7 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Marin HA, Diaz-Toro EC . The Effect of the Smoke-Free Workplace Policy in the Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Restaurants, Pubs, and Discos in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal 2010;29(3):279–85 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Zhang B, Bondy SJ, Chiavetta JA, Selby P, Ferrence R. The Impact of Ontario Smoke-Free Legislation on Secondhand Smoke in Enclosed Public Places. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 2009;7(3):133–43 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Gotz NK, Van Tongeren M, Wareing H, Wallace LM, Semple S, MacCalman L. Changes in Air Quality and Second-Hand Smoke Exposure in Hospitality Sector Businesses After Introduction of the English Smoke-Free Legislation. Journal of Public Health 2008;30(4):421–8 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Vardavas CI, Anagnostopoulos N, Patelarou E, Minas M, Nakou C, Dramba V, et al. Five-Year Trends of Second-Hand Smoke Exposure in Greece: A Comparison Between Complete, Partial, and Prelegislation Levels. Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery 2013;25(6):349–54 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Goodman P, Agnew M, McCaffrey M, Paul G, Clancy L. Effects of the Irish Smoking Ban on Respiratory Health of Bar Workers and Air Quality in Dublin Pubs. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2007;175(8):840–5 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Mulcahy M, Byrne MA, Ruprecht A. How Does the Irish Smoking Ban Measure Up? A Before and After Study of Particle Concentrations in Irish Pubs.[PDF–57.8 KB] Indoor Air 2005;15(Suppl 11):86 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Valente P, Forastiere F, Bacosi A, Cattani G, Di Carlo S, Ferri M, et al. Exposure to Fine and Ultrafine Particles From Secondhand Smoke in Public Places Before and After the Smoking Ban, Italy 2005. Tobacco Control 2007;16(5):312–7 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Semple S, Creely KS, Naji A, Miller BG, Ayres JG. Secondhand Smoke Levels in Scottish Pubs: The Effect of Smoke-Free Legislation. Tobacco Control 2007;16:127–32 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
- Lopez MJ, Fernandez E, Perez-Rios M, Martinez-Sanchez JM, Schiaffino A, Galan I, et al. Impact of the 2011 Spanish Smoking Ban in Hospitality Venues: Indoor Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Influence of Outdoor Smoking. [PDF–398 KB]Nicotine and Tobacco Research 2013; 15(5):992–6 [accessed 2014 Mar 11].
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.
- Page last reviewed: November 25, 2014
- Page last updated: March 11, 2014
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