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J Occup Environ Hyg. 2009 Nov;6(11):698-704. doi: 10.1080/15459620903249893.

Assessment of exposure to secondhand smoke at outdoor bars and family restaurants in Athens, Georgia, using salivary cotinine.

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The University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in outdoor settings is a growing public health concern due to recent indoor smoking bans. The objective of this study was to measure salivary cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, in subjects aged 21-30 exposed to SHS outside bars and restaurants in Athens, Georgia. Nonsmokers participated during 6-hr periods in outdoor standing or seating areas of bars and restaurants where indoor smoking was banned, as well as a control outdoor location with no smokers over six weekends during the summer and early fall of 2007. Pre- and post-exposure saliva samples (N = 25 person-days at the bar site, N = 28 person-days at the restaurant site, and N = 11 person-days at the control) were collected and analyzed for cotinine. The mean change in the response, (ln(post) - ln(pre)) salivary cotinine levels, was significantly impacted by the type of site (bar, restaurant, control) (F = 5.09; d.f. = 2, 6.7; p = 0.0455). The median percent increase in salivary cotinine from pre-test to post-test was estimated to be 162%, 102%, and 16% at the bar, restaurant, and control sites, respectively, values that were significant increases at bars (t = 4.63; d.f. = 9.24; p = 0.0011) and restaurants (t = 4.33; d.f. = 4.47; p = 0.0097) but not at the control sites. On average, these pre-test to post-test increases in salivary cotinine were significantly higher at bar sites than control sites (t = 3.05; d.f. = 9.85; p = 0.0176) and at restaurant sites compared with control sites (t = 2.35; d.f. = 5.09; p = 0.0461). Nonsmokers outside restaurants and bars in Athens, Georgia, have significantly elevated salivary cotinine levels indicative of secondhand smoke exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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