Strength of smoke-free air laws and indoor air quality

Kiyoung Lee, Ellen J. Hahn, Heather E. Robertson, Seongjik Lee, Suzann I. Vogel, Mark J. Travers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Introduction: Smoke-free air laws have been implemented in many Kentucky communities to protect the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure. The impact of different strengths of smoke-free air laws on indoor air quality was assessed. Methods: Indoor air quality in hospitality venues was assessed in seven communities before and after comprehensive smoke-free air laws and in two communities only after partial smoke-free air laws. One community was measured three times: before any smoke-free air law, after the initial partial law, and after the law was strengthened to cover all workplaces and public places with few exemptions. Real-time measurements of particulate matters with 2.5 μm aerodynamic diameter or smaller (PM2.5) were obtained. Results: When comprehensive smoke-free air laws were implemented, indoor PM2.5 concentrations decreased significantly from 161 to 20 μg/m3. In one community that implemented a comprehensive smoke-free law after initially passing a partial law, indoor PM2.5 concentrations were 304 μg/m3 before the law, 338 μg/m3 after the partial law, and 9 μg/m3 after the comprehensive law. Discussion: The study clearly demonstrated that partial smoke-free air laws do not improve indoor air quality. A significant linear trend indicated that PM2.5 levels in the establishments decreased with fewer numbers of burning cigarettes. Only comprehensive smoke-free air laws are effective in reducing indoor air pollution from secondhand tobacco smoke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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