269023 Third-hand tobacco smoke contamination and exposure in California hotel rooms

Monday, October 29, 2012

Penelope Quintana, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Georg Matt, PhD , Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Joy Zakarian, MPH , Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Addie Fortmann, MS , Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Dale Chatfield, PhD , Department of Chemistry, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Eunha Hoh, PhD , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Carl Winston, PhD , Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Melbourne F. Hovell, PhD, MPH , San Diego State University, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego, CA
Third-hand tobacco smoke contamination was assessed in hotel rooms in the following categories: designated smoking-permitted rooms and designated non-smoking rooms in hotels with smoking permitted rooms (SM-hotels), and rooms from designated non-smoking hotels (NONSM-hotels). Seventy hotel guestrooms from 40 San Diego County hotels were sampled, and surface wipe and air samples for nicotine and 3-ethenylpyridine (3-EP) (both markers of tobacco) were collected from each room. Non-smoking research assistants (RAs) stayed overnight in the rooms, and provided baseline and post-hotel stay urine and finger wipe samples. Non-smoking rooms in SM-hotels were more polluted than those in NONSM-hotels. Surface wipe nicotine levels and air levels of nicotine and 3-EP were higher in smoking-permitted hotel rooms compared to nonsmoking rooms in SM-hotels and nonsmoking rooms in NONSM-hotels (surface nicotine 49.4 g/m2 vs. 2.7 g/m2 and 0.12 g/m2, respectively, p<0.05). Based on cut-offs previously discriminating between smoker and non-smoker homes, 47% of non-smoking rooms in SM-hotels had surface nicotine levels above thresholds, and 25% had air nicotine levels above the cut-off. RA finger wipe samples were significantly more contaminated with nicotine when the RA stayed in a room where smoking had been permitted as compared to non-smoking rooms, and they also had a significant increase in post-stay urine cotinine and urine NNAL, a tobacco-specific carcinogen metabolite. Current California Code allows hotels to designate up to 65% of rooms as smoking rooms. These policies fail to protect nonsmoking hotel rooms from being contaminated with tobacco pollutants, and fail to protect guests from third-hand tobacco smoke exposure, as shown by the absorption of tobacco-specific compounds by RAs staying overnight.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Define thirdhand tobacco smoke 2. Identify markers of third-hand tobacco smoke contamination 3. Discuss policy implications of third-hand smoke contamination and guest exposure demonstrated for hotel rooms in our study

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal investigator on tobacco research grants and have examined surface and dust contamination with second and third-hand tobacco smoke in homes, cars and hotel rooms.
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.