Indoor air quality in hospitality venues before and after implementation of a clean indoor air law--Western New York, 2003

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Nov 12;53(44):1038-41.


Secondhand smoke (SHS) contains more than 50 carcinogens. SHS exposure is responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 35,000 coronary heart disease deaths among never smokers in the United States each year, and for lower respiratory infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, and chronic ear infections among children. Even short-term exposures to SHS, such as those that might be experienced by a patron in a restaurant or bar that allows smoking, can increase the risk of experiencing an acute cardiovascular event. Although population-based data indicate declining SHS exposure in the United States over time, SHS exposure remains a common but preventable public health hazard. Policies requiring smoke-free environments are the most effective method of reducing SHS exposure. Effective July 24, 2003, New York implemented a comprehensive state law requiring almost all indoor workplaces and public places (e.g., restaurants, bars, and other hospitality venues) to be smoke-free. This report describes an assessment of changes in indoor air quality that occurred in 20 hospitality venues in western New York where smoking or indirect SHS exposure from an adjoining room was observed at baseline. The findings indicate that, on average, levels of respirable suspended particles (RSPs), an accepted marker for SHS levels, decreased 84% in these venues after the law took effect. Comprehensive clean indoor air policies can rapidly and effectively reduce SHS exposure in hospitality venues.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / analysis
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Restaurants* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution* / analysis
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution