In this study we compared indoor air pollutant concentrations in a bar/restaurant in Greece before and after the enactment of a smoking ban legislation of 2008. This was done to investigate whether the separation of the venue into smoking and non-smoking areas will have an impact on workers and customers from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure (null hypothesis). The study was completed within an 8-month period beginning in March 2010 and ending on November 2010. We compared the average of the measured concentrations in the smoking zones between the pre-ban and post-ban periods. Overall reduction in the number of particles was 18% between pre-ban and post-ban periods. The mean of the 36 total CO2 measurements for the pre- and the post-ban period was 611ppm. We calculated the ventilation rates per occupant (Vo in l/s/occ) and found it to be higher in the post-ban period (/s/occ), thus complying with the ASHARAE standard for Vo of 15l/s/occ at maximum occupancy, than in the pre-ban period (/s/occ). The mean of the 36 total CO measurements for the pre-ban period was 2 ppm. CO measurements in the post-ban period were less than the detection limit of 1 ppm. Emissions of nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde weren't detected in any of the zones. It was observed there was about 50% distribution of pollutants from the smoking zones to the smoke-free zones. The smoking ban effect on the occupancy levels was initially reduced by 16%, but based on other similar studies this transition period will be followed by an increase in the occupancy. Passive smoking and associated risks were significantly reduced but not totally eliminated, indicating the need for stronger enforcement or complete partition between smoking and non-smoking areas.
An ‘outdoor dining area’ is an unenclosed area in which tables, or tables and chairs, are permanently or temporarily provided for the purpose of public dining. Smoking is only banned in these areas when food (other than ‘snack food’) is being offered for purchase, or is otherwise provided by or on behalf of the occupier of the premises for the purpose of consumption in the outdoor dining area. Snack food is defined as pre-packaged food ‘of a kind generally intended to be consumed between meals.’ lvi The Tobacco Products Regulation Act also allows local councils and other incorporated bodies to apply to have certain outdoor areas or events declared smoke-free. This allows the non-smoking status of the area or event to be legally enforceable. lvii Public areas which have been declared smoke-free include Moseley Square in Glenelg, and Henley Square. lvii The Royal Adelaide Show has also been declared a smoke-free event. lix
In the lead up to the ban on smoking in the workplace in Ireland, there were also concerns that the ban would negatively impact on bars and pubs, as smoking customers would be driven away. While there has been a decline in trade since the ban was introduced, the Irish government has argued this was caused by a range of economic factors already in place before the ban came into force. Similar concerns were also expressed about moves to introduce a ban in the UK, and a report by the Restaurant Association before the move was approved suggested it could cost restaurants £346 million and 45,000 jobs.