Work Package 05

Exposure to secondhand smoke and acute health effects in patients with chronic lung disease

In many EU countries comprehensive smoke-free laws exist to protect workers and patrons from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Smoke-free laws have been very successful in a number of countries with proven health benefits. However most countries with these laws have seen the proliferation of ‘outside’ areas where smoking is permitted and are often placed where non-smokers are still exposed to some drift of smoke. The health effects of such exposure are unproven as to date there is only anecdotal evidence but some effects can be expected, though might be difficult to demonstrate. People most likely to be adversely effected by such exposure are patients with chronic respiratory diseases. In this WP we will measure the secondhand tobacco smoke exposure of 60 patients from Ireland, Spain, and Hungary, three EU countries with comprehensive smoke-free laws, during visits to pubs or clubs with dedicated ‘smoking areas’ outside the premises. We will recruit such patients with the cooperation of parent organisations in these countries, which are affiliated with the European Lung Foundation (ELF).

This will be the first time that such effects have been reported and will form the basis for intervention to regulate the existence or location of such outside area facilities. It will also provide much more meaningful personal exposure data and act as a powerful advocacy tool for the right to clean air free of SHS.

WP5 is managed by TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland.