Research Article

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2007) 17, 260–268. doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500513; published online 28 June 2006

An evaluation of the indoor air quality in bars before and after a smoking ban in Austin, Texas

Michael S Waringa and Jeffrey A Siegela

aDepartment of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, C1752, Austin, Texas, USA

Correspondence: Jeffrey A. Siegel, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, C1752 Austin, TX 78712, USA. Tel.: +1 512 471 2410; Fax: +1 512 471 3191; E-mail: jasiegel@mail.utexas.edu

Received 23 March 2006; Accepted 31 May 2006; Published online 28 June 2006.

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Abstract

This study assessed differences in the indoor air quality and occupancy levels in seventeen bars due to a city-wide smoking ban that took effect on September 1, 2005 in Austin, Texas, USA. We measured the following in each venue before and after the smoking ban: mean number of occupants, mean number of lit cigarettes, temperature, relative humidity, room volume, and PM2.5, CO, and CO2 concentrations. Additionally, VOC measurements were conducted at three of the venues. There was not a statistically significant change in occupancy, but the best estimate PM2.5 concentrations in the venues decreased 71–99%, a significant reduction in all venues, relative to the pre-ban levels; CO concentrations decreased significantly in all but one venue; and concentrations of VOCs known to be emitted from cigarettes decreased to below the detection limit for all but two common compounds. These results suggest that the smoking ban has effectively improved indoor air quality in Austin bars without an associated decrease in occupancy.

Keywords:

environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), particulate matter, public policy, field measurements, hospitality venues

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