246379 Assessment of environmental tobacco smoke in Memphis bars and restaurants

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sara Jacob , Prevention, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Objective: The Tennessee Non Smokers Protection Act (NSPA) which went into effect in October 2007 prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places within the state of Tennessee with a few exceptions like restaurants and bars that solely serve patrons age 21 and over. The purpose of this study was to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the NSPA in a sample of Memphis/Shelby county bars and restaurants. Methods: Ten months after the NSPA went into effect, 38 venues (18 covered and 20 exempt from NSPA) were sampled for particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM 2.5) using TSI Sidepak monitor. PM 2.5 is a marker of the ETS suspended in the environment. Compliance to the law, in terms of patronage was measured by person-counts. Results: On average, the PM 2.5 level decreased 88% in venues covered by the NSPA. Bars that allowed smoking had the highest PM 2.5 levels (average 168 g/m3) and were 11.4 times higher than in smoke-free restaurants (average 14.7 g/m3). Hundred percent compliance to the law was observed in all venues. All smoke free venues had no smoking' signs posted at the entrance. Similarly, all TN NSPA exempt venues were 100% compliant by posting signs at the entrance stating the age limit of patrons they served at all times. Conclusion: Tennessee NSPA effectively improved indoor air quality in venues covered by the law. However, NSPA exempt venues continue to be a major source of ETS exposure to employees and patrons in such venues.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate clean indor air laws protect people from exposure to second hand smoke and the absence of comprehensive laws compromises the health of people.

Keywords: Tobacco Legislation, Air Pollutants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work as the Senior Analyst- Tobacco and Chronic Disease at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. THis abstract is a part of my thesis work for the Masters of Public Health degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.