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In 2003, the New Zealand Parliament passed a smokefree law that included the prohibition of smoking inside restaurants and bars/pubs (the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003). A key purpose of the act was ‘to prevent the detrimental effect of other people’s smoking on the health of people in workplaces, or in certain public enclosed areas…’. But despite this purpose, the law still allowed for smoking in so-called ‘open areas’ at hospitality venues. These open areas are often surrounded by walls and partial roofing, and are typically inside the actual architectural footprint of the building (eg, see elsewhere for an example photograph of this problem).1 When smoking occurs in these areas, high levels of air pollution from fine particulates (PM2.5) has been detected.2 This poses risks to non-smoking patrons in these areas, but also the associated air pollution can drift into adjacent indoor areas via open windows and doors.3 4
Contributors NW designed the study. NW and LD collected the relevant data. All authors contributed to drafting the manuscript.
Competing interests The first author was a non-remunerated expert witness on behalf of the Ministry of Health in the case Ministry of Health v Drewmond Hard Hospitality (see reference 7).
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.