Secondhand smoke exposure in bars and restaurants in Guatemala City 5 years after the smoking ban
In 2006, high levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) were found in bars and restaurants in Guatemala City. Six months after a comprehensive workplace smoking ban (also patios and terraces) was implemented in 2009, levels significantly decreased. However, in 2010 poor law compliance was observed. Therefore, we sought to assess long-term (5-years) compliance to the ban using objective SHS measurements.
We assessed SHS exposure using airborne nicotine monitors in bars (n=9) and restaurants (n=12) for 7 working days. Nicotine was measured using gas-chromatography (µg/m3). Medians and interquartile ranges (IQR) were used to describe the data. Employees responded to a survey about SHS exposure and perceived economic impact of the ban. Comparisons were made with data from pre (2006) and post (2009 and 2014) ban.
Most (71%) venues still have a smoking section violating the law (e.g. patio, terrace). The percentage of samples with detectable nicotine concentrations was 100%, 85% and 43% in 2006, 2009 and 2014, respectively. In bars, median (IQR) nicotine concentrations for each period were 4.58 µg/m3 (1.71, 6.45), 0.28 µg/m3 (0.17, 0.66), and 0.59 µg/m3 (0.01, 1.45), respectively. In restaurants, corresponding concentrations were 0.58 µg/m3 (0.44, 0.71), 0.04 µg/m3 (0.01, 0.11), and 0.01 µg/m3(0.01, 0.09). Support for the law continues to be high and no perceived economic impact was found.
Five years after the smoking ban, hospitality venues in Guatemala, especially bars, are not yet smoke-free. Despite employee support and no economic impact, the ban has not yet become the norm in bars.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Evaluate compliance with the smoking ban in bars and restaurants 5 years after ban implementation Compare airborne nicotine levels pre- and post- (6 months and 5 years) ban implementation Assess employees perceived economic impact of the smoking ban in bars and restaurants
Keyword(s): Tobacco Control, Public Health Policy
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on tobacco control research since I was in medical school under the supervision of Dr. Joaquin Barnoya. I served as a Chronic Disease Research Fellow at the Cardiovascular Unit in Guatemala in the year 2008 and I am the Co-Principal Investigator on the secondhand smoke monitoring project in Guatemala. I am currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Health at the University of Michigan.
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.