Introduction: In South Korea, computer game rooms are subject to regulations mandating a designated nonsmoking area pursuant to Article 7 of the Enforcement Rules of the National Health Promotion Act; nonsmoking areas must be enclosed on all sides by solid and impermeable partitions. Methods: Using PM2.5 monitors (SidePak AM510) and airborne nicotine monitors, we measured concentrations in smoking and nonsmoking areas to examine whether separation of the nonsmoking areas as currently practiced is a viable way to protect the nonsmoking area from secondhand smoke exposure. Convenient samplings were conducted at 28 computer game rooms randomly selected from 14 districts in Seoul, South Korea between August and September 2009. Results: The medians (interquartile range) of PM2.5 concentrations in smoking and nonsmoking areas were 69.3 μg/m3 (34.5-116.5 μg/m3) and 34 μg/m3 (15.0-57.0 μg/m3), while those of airborne nicotine were 0.41 μg/m3 (0.25-0.69 μg/m3) and 0.12 μg/m3 (0.06-0.16 μg/m3), respectively. Concentrations of airborne nicotine and PM2.5 in nonsmoking areas were substantially positively associated with those in smoking areas. The Spearman correlation coefficients for them were 0.68 (p = .02) and 0.1 (p = 0.7), respectively. According to our modeling result, unit increase of airborne nicotine concentration in a smoking area contributed to 7 (95% CI = 2.5-19.8) times increase of the concentration in the adjacent nonsmoking area after controlling for the degree of partition left closed and the indoor space volume. Conclusions: Our study thus provides evidence for the introduction of more rigorous policy initiatives aimed at encouraging a complete smoking ban in such venues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health