Ambient Air Pollution by Second Hand Tobacco Smoke in Public Entertainment Places In Selected Areas of Lusaka, Zambia
Background: The deleterious effects on health by fine particulate air matter (PM2.5) pollution has been studied and established. People who are often exposed to pollutants by inhaling second-hand tobacco smoke are at risk of adverse health consequences such as heart disease and stroke, increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems and worsening of asthma symptoms. The objective of the study on which this article reports was to document the prevalence of indoor smoking of cigarettes and the corresponding air quality put in public places in Lusaka.
Methods: The TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitor was used to sample and record the levels of respirable suspended particles in 40 public places across 4 areas of Lusaka. The TrakPro Data Analysis Software was used to analyse the pollution levels. The data from the other parameters of measurement were entered and analysed using Microsoft excel 2003-2007.
Results: Fifty-five per cent (22) of the venues were observed to have indoor smoking. An overall mean of the number of cigarettes smoked during the air sampling period was 74. The total average number of patrons in all the venues visited was 516, with the mean of 13 per venue. The average total mean for PM2.5 levels for both places where smoking was observed and where it was not observed, was above the World Health Organization air quality guidelines regarding/for particulate matter.
Conclusion: Unsafe levels of indoor air pollution were found in public places in Lusaka. Indoor smoking was commonly found in various types of public venues. Comprehensive clean indoor air laws, which completely ban all indoor smoking, regardless of smoking type or physical features of the venue, should be strongly supported and enforced in our country.