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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The objective of this study was to measure the pollution caused by tobacco smoke (TSP) in New Jersey workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, and casinos. This is also the first study to document TSP in a large number of casinos. This scientific documentation of exposure to TSP was used to inform the debate over smoke-free air legislation in New Jersey.
Methods: Using TSI Sidepak Personal Aerosol Monitors, research teams trained by Roswell Park Cancer Institute staff measured pollution in one of the largest such studies undertaken in one state, visiting more than 50 sites. Fine particle air pollution, or PM2.5, was measured in smoking-permitted and smokefree sites, and compared with average annual limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Results: On average, smokefree restaurants had PM2.5 levels of 12 υg/m3 (n=8) while significantly higher levels were seen in the smoking permitted venues; bowling centers (74 υg/m3, n=3, p=0.014), casinos (92 υg/m3, n=9, p<0.001), restaurants (96 υg/m3, n=15, p<0.001), and bars (339 υg/m3, n=16, p<0.001). Full-time employees in all 43 of the locations allowing indoor smoking are exposed to PM2.5 levels in excess of levels recommended by the EPA to protect public health. The results were the focus of a State House news conference that attracted media attention in three states, including New York City, from network television, print, radio, and Internet news services. State legislators are currently in the process of passing a statewide smokefree air law in New Jersey.