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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The impact of the Cyprus comprehensive smoking ban on air quality and economic business of hospitality venues

Costas A Christophi12*, Martha Paisi1, Despina Pampaka1, Martha Kehagias1, Constantine Vardavas3 and Gregory N Connolly3

Author Affiliations

1 Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health, Cyprus University of Technology, 95 Eirinis Street, Rm 201, 3041, Limassol, CYPRUS

2 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

3 Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-76

Published: 27 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Several countries, including Cyprus, have passed smoke-free legislations in recent years. The goal of this study was to assess the indoor levels of particulate matter in hospitality venues in Cyprus before and after the implementation of the law on 1/1/2010, evaluate the role of enforcement, and examine the legislation’s effect on revenue and employment.

Methods

Several hospitality venues (n = 35) were sampled between April 2007 and January 2008, and 21 of those were re-sampled after the introduction of the smoking ban, between March and May 2010. Data on enforcement was provided by the Cyprus Police whereas data on revenue and employment within the hospitality industry of Cyprus were obtained from the Cyprus Statistical Service; comparisons were made between the corresponding figures before and after the implementation of the law.

Results

The median level of PM2.5 associated with secondhand smoking was 161 μg/m3 pre-ban and dropped to 3 μg/m3 post-ban (98% decrease, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, in the year following the ban, the hotel turnover rate increased by 4.1% and the restaurant revenue by 6.4%; employment increased that same year by 7.2% and 1.0%, respectively.

Conclusion

Smoke free legislations, when enforced, are highly effective in improving the air quality and reducing the levels of indoor PM2.5. Strict enforcement plays a key role in the successful implementation of smoking bans. Even in nations with high smoking prevalence comprehensive smoking laws can be effectively implemented and have no negative effect on accommodation, food, and beverage services.

Keywords:
Environmental pollution; Tobacco smoke; Secondhand smoking; Smoking ban; Economic viability