Our results show that a nonsmoker, who is near a smoker at an outdoor pub, cafe, or restaurant, can potentially inhale toxic smoke produced from a cigar or cigarette at very high levels. Our research proves that drifting secondhand smoke can indeed pose a significant nuisance or health risk for nonsmokers sitting or standing near smokers on outdoor patios.
Obviously, factors such as wind, size of the venue, and distance from smokers all make a difference, but the question relevant to involuntary exposure in public locations is: "WILL I BE EXPOSED WHEN I VISIT A TYPICAL OUTDOOR SETTING THAT ALLOWS SMOKING?" Even for a small number of smokers, WE FOUND THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION TO GENERALLY BE "YES" FOR NEARLY ALL THE OUTDOOR SETTINGS THAT WE VISITED during our survey of 10 outdoor smoking venues. We were able to detect tobacco smoke particles at each of the outdoor locations where real smokers were present, even if we were not seated at a table immediately adjacent to the smoker(s). Often, we measured very high levels for brief time periods.