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Keywords:

  • tobacco;
  • smoking;
  • Sri Lanka;
  • public;
  • secondhand smoke

Abstract

Background

Secondhand smoke accounts for a considerable proportion of deaths due to tobacco smoke. Although the existing laws ban indoor smoking in public places in Sri Lanka, the level of compliance is unknown.

Methods

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in 20 public places in Colombo, Sri Lanka were measured by a PM monitor (Model AM510—SIDEPAK Personal Aerosol Monitor). Different types of businesses (restaurants, bars, cafés, and entertainment venues) were selected by purposive sampling. Only the places where smoking was permitted were considered.

Results

The average indoor PM2.5 ranged from 33 to 299 µg/m3. The average outdoor PM2.5 ranged from 18 to 83 µg/m3. The indoor to outdoor PM2.5 ratio ranged from 1.05 to 14.93. In all venues, indoor PM2.5 levels were higher than the Sri Lankan ambient PM2.5 standard of 50 µg/m3. All indoor locations had higher PM2.5 levels as compared to their immediate outdoor surroundings.

Conclusion

The study highlights the importance of improving ventilation and enforcing laws to stop smoking in public places. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1129–1136, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.