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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mitigating Residential Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke

  • Author(s): Klepeis, Neil E
  • Nazaroff, William W
  • et al.

In a companion paper, we used a simulation model to explore secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposures for typical conditions in residences. In the current paper, we extend this analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of physical mitigation approaches in reducing nonsmokers' exposure to airborne SHS particulate matter in a hypothetical 6-zone house. Measures investigated included closing doors or opening windows in response to smoking activity, modifying location patterns to segregate the nonsmoker and the active smoker, and operating particle filtration devices. We first performed 24 scripted simulation trials using hypothetical patterns of occupant location. We then performed cohort simulation trials across 25 mitigation scenarios using over 1,000 pairs of nonsmoker and smoker time-location patterns that were selected from a survey of human activity patterns in US homes. We limited cohort pairs to cases where more than 10 cigarettes were smoked indoors at home each day and the nonsmoker was at home for more than two thirds of the day. We evaluated the effectiveness of each mitigation approach by examining its impact on the simulated frequency distribution of residential SHS particle exposure. The two most effective strategies were the isolation of the smoker in a closed room with an open window, and a ban on smoking whenever the nonsmoker was at home. The use of open windows to supply local or cross ventilation, or the operation of portable filtration devices in smoking rooms, provided moderate exposure reductions. Closed doors, by themselves, were not effective.

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