Second-Hand Smoke in Hospitality Venues: Indoor and Outdoor PM2.5 Concentrations.

Final Project, BSc Biomedical Sciences, Campus de Bellvitge, Universitat de Barcelona

Author: Noemí San Emeterio Huang. Tutors: Marcela Fu & Esteve Fernández


Background: Secondhand smoke (SHS) is harmful for nonsmokers. The 2011 Spanish tobacco control
law bans smoking in the indoor area of hospitality venues, but not by the entrances nor in outdoor terraces.

Objectives: The first objective of this study is to demonstrate the existence of a correlation between PM2.5 concentrations indoors and by the entrance of the hospitality venues and that the PM2.5 concentrations indoors can be explained by presence of smokers in the entrance. The second objective is to analyze whether PM2.5 concentrations vary according to the type of terrace (open, semi-open and closed).

Methods: We measured PM2.5 concentrations with TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitors in 32 hospitality venues: the indoor area and the entrance simultaneously, the terrace and a distant outdoor control point. We registered observational data, such as the number of cigarettes per minute, the area and the type of terrace. The data was analyzed with SPSS, using medians to describe the PM2.5 concentrations. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to explore the association between PM2.5 concentrations simultaneously measured indoors and by the entrance.

Results: We found a significant correlation between the PM2.5 concentration indoors and by the entrance (rsp=0.855, p-value<0.001). PM2.5 concentration indoors is doubled when there is more than one cigarette per minute in the entrance (p-value=0.010). No significant differences were found in the PM2.5 concentrations  counting for the level of openness of the terraces.

Conclusions: The data obtained indicate that the presence of smokers by the entrance affects the indoor air quality in hospitality venues. We could not obtain conclusive data in the terraces due to a small sample size.