Short-term measurement of suspended particulate matter has been recently made possible since the release of laser-operating portable instruments. Data of a pilot study of field evaluation of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) with a portable instrument are reported. We analysed the concentrations of total suspended particle (TSP) and of the fine particles PM10, PM7, PM2.5 and PM1 released indoor from a single cigarette, and their levels inside smoking- and non-smoking-areas of a restaurant. The results indicate that ETS creates high level indoor particulate pollution, with concentrations of PM10 exceeding air quality standards. This kind of field evaluation could allow a more careful assessing of short-term exposure to ETS and its relevance to public health.