[Secondhand smoke in hospitality venues. Exposure, body burden, economic and health aspects in conjunction with smoking bans]

Gesundheitswesen. 2009 Apr;71(4):242-57. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1192031. Epub 2009 Mar 26.
[Article in German]


Secondhand smoke was classified by national and international organisations as a known cause of cancer in humans and has many adverse health effects, especially cardiovascular diseases and lung tumours. Global studies have clearly shown that hospitality venues have the highest levels of indoor air pollution containing different substances that are clearly carcinogenic--such as tobacco-related chemicals--compared with other, smoke-free indoor spaces. Data from the human biomonitoring of non-smoking employees in the food service industry confirm this high exposure level. Non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke in these environments are at increased risk for adverse health effects. The consistent protection of non-smokers in public places such as restaurants and bars through a smoking ban results in a significant reduction of the pollutants in the air (mostly > 90%) and clearly reduces the internal body burden for users and employees. Furthermore, health complaints by non-smoking employees are reduced and the higher risk for lung tumours of employees in the food service industry compared with the general population can be effectively reduced as well. According to current standards of knowledge, other measures such as spatial separation of smoking areas or the use of mechanical venting systems do not achieve a comparably high and effective pollutant reduction under field conditions. Studies concerning the economic effects of prohibiting smoking in public places conducted in various countries have shown that beverage-focused gastronomic enterprises experience a short-term down trend but that food-focused gastronomic enterprises do not experience any negative or even positive effects. The positive effects of a ban on smoking in public places on the general population are a decline in cigarette consumption and the reduction of secondhand smoke exposure by non-smokers. Smoking bans in hospitality venues are not necessarily linked with a shift of the tobacco consumption to private rooms and an associated increase of secondhand smoke exposure. A comprehensive smoking ban in public spaces without exemption is therefore an easy and targeted measure for gastronomic enterprises from a health perspective.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / economics*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internationality
  • Public Facilities / economics*
  • Public Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / economics*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution