Is there really a health basis for outdoor smoking bans?

Yes. Concentrated streams of outdoor tobacco smoke can, at the very least, act as a respiratory or eye irritant. But outdoor tobacco smoke may also pose a serious health hazard for severe asthmatics even if the exposure is transient, since tobacco smoke may act as a trigger. Those with compromised cardiovascular systems may be at risk from even brief exposures. People spending time near outdoor smokers over multiple hours, such as waiters or dinner guests, can receive exposure that exceeds the current USEPA limit on fine particulate matter pollution. Hence, outdoor tobacco smoke is a real occupational and hospitality health issue, and there is a compelling basis to institute smoking bans to protect individuals in both commercial and non-commercial settings.