Restaurant smoking restrictions and environmental tobacco smoke exposure

Am J Public Health. 1998 Dec;88(12):1834-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.12.1834.


Objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of smoking restrictions.

Methods: We measured particulate concentrations in restaurants with different levels of allowable smoking.

Results: Mean particulate concentrations were 70% higher in establishments without smoking restrictions compared with those with partial smoking restrictions. Concentrations in nonsmoking restaurants were reduced by an additional 20% to 30%. Measurements of cadmium, an environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) marker, implicated ETS as the major source of particulate in restaurants that allowed smoking.

Conclusions: Partial smoking restrictions substantially reduce, but do not eliminate, ETS exposure in restaurants. Occupants of nonsmoking restaurants avoid ETS exposure but may experience substantial particulate exposures from cooking emissions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / prevention & control*
  • British Columbia
  • Cadmium / analysis
  • Cooking
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Restaurants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Ventilation / methods


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Cadmium