Brief report

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 151-156

First online:

Secondhand smoke exposure in bars and restaurants in Guatemala City: before and after smoking ban evaluation

  • Joaquin BarnoyaAffiliated withCardiovascular Unit of GuatemalaDepartment of Surgery Prevention and Control, Washington University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Mariel ArvizuAffiliated withCardiovascular Unit of Guatemala
  • , Miranda R. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthDepartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • , Juan C. HernandezAffiliated withCardiovascular Unit of Guatemala
  • , Patrick N. BreysseAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthInstitute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • , Ana Navas-AcienAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthDepartment of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthInstitute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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Abstract

Objective

In February 2009, Guatemala implemented a comprehensive smoking ban. We assessed air nicotine levels in bars and restaurants 6 months after the ban (post-ban) and compared them with levels found in 2006 (pre-ban).

Methods

Exposure was estimated by passive sampling of vapor-phase nicotine using samplers (n = 50) placed for 7 working days in 10 bars and 11 restaurants in Guatemala City. Air nicotine was measured by gas chromatography, and the time-weighted average concentration in μg/m3 was estimated. Employees answered a survey about smoke-free workplaces (n = 32) and compared with pre-ban (n = 37) results.

Results

Nicotine was detectable in all bars pre- and post-ban. In restaurants, it was detectable in all pre- and 73% post-ban. Median nicotine concentrations in bars significantly decreased from 4.58 μg/m3 (IQR, 1.71, 6.45) pre-ban to 0.28 μg/m3 (IQR 0.17, 0.66) post-ban (87% decrease). In restaurants, concentrations significantly decreased from 0.58 μg/m3 (IQR, 0.44, 0.71) to 0.04 μg/m3 (IQR 0.01, 0.11) (95% decrease). Employees’ support for a smoke-free workplace increased in the post-ban survey (from 32 to 81%, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Six months after the implementation of a smoke-free law in Guatemala, nicotine levels were significantly decreased in bars and restaurants and workers’ support for the law substantially increased.

Keywords

Tobacco Tobacco smoke pollution Smoke-free environments Environmental pollution