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

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2007 May;17(3):260-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.jes.7500513. Epub 2006 Jun 28.


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 PM(2.5), CO, and CO(2) concentrations. Additionally, VOC measurements were conducted at three of the venues. There was not a statistically significant change in occupancy, but the best estimate PM(2.5) 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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / prevention & control
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Restaurants / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Texas
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon Monoxide