Second-hand smoke exposure in hospitality venues in Barcelona: measurement of respirable particles

Nazmy Villarroel Williams, María José López, Francesca Sánchez-Martínez, Esteve Fernández, Manel Nebot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To quantify the concentration of respirable particles equal to or smaller than 2.5μm (PM(2.5)) as a marker of second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure in a sample of hospitality venues in Barcelona 2 years after the Spanish smoking law came into effect.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional descriptive study from October to December 2007. The study population consisted of 40 hospitality venues in Barcelona selected by a random route sampling, with representation of the different types of smoking regulation included in the law (smoking allowed, smoking ban and venues with smoking areas). SHS levels were quantified by measuring PM(2.5) concentrations, which were measured using a laser photometer (Side Pack AM 510 Personal Aerosol Monitor). The measurements were carried out for 5 minutes outside the venue and for 30 minutes inside the venue. In addition, observational variables related to the characteristics of the venue and signs of tobacco consumption were recorded.

RESULTS: The concentration of PM(2.5) in venues where smoking was still allowed was five times higher than that in venues where smoking was banned (182μg/m(3) and 34μg/m(3), respectively) and exceeded the concentration established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as harmful (35μg/m(3)). However, in venues where smoking was banned, the concentration was lower than the EPA standard and there were no significant differences with the outdoor PM(2.5) concentration.

CONCLUSIONS: Two years after the introduction of the Spanish smoking law, SHS exposure in venues where smoking was allowed was q still very high, representing a significant health risk for hospitality workers.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)220-3
Number of pages4
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2011


  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter
  • Random Allocation
  • Restaurants
  • Sampling Studies
  • Spain
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Urban Health

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