New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..

April 9, 2009 - Some 56.7 percent of nonsmokers living in New York City were found to have elevated levels of the nicotine metabolite cotinine, compared with an average 44.9 percent of nonsmokers nationwide. Among the ethnic groups studied, nonsmokers of Asian descent were most often affected, with 68.7 percent of those examined showing elevated blood levels of cotinine (passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, secondhand smoke, sidestream smoke, involuntary smoking).

The analysis is based on data gathered during a survey of 1,767 adults ages 20 and older in 2004, more than a year after passage of the Smoke Free Air Act of 2002, which banned smoking in virtually all city workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

Researchers with the health department said they were unsettled by the finding, which they called “puzzling.” New York City has fewer smokers per capita than many other American cities. Only 23.3 percent of adults in the city smoked at the time of the study, compared with a national average of 29.7 percent around the same time.

Finding suggests that New Yorkers are breathing cigarette smoke at lower levels but more often, a consequence of living in an usually dense urban environment.

PAPER: smoke exposure among nonsmokers nationally and in New York City
Jennifer A. Ellis, Charon Gwynn, Renu K. Garg, Robyn Philburn, Kenneth M. Aldous, Sarah B. Perl, Lorna Thorpe and Thomas R. Frieden Nicotine & Tobacco Research Advance Access published online on April 7, 2009 ABSTRACT/Complete Paper.

Smoking bans improve health, e.g., Smoking bans lower heart attacks..

Reference: New Yorkers Often Exposed to Cigarette Smoke, Study Finds, Article Tools Sponsored by By RONI CARYN RABIN, The New Yoprk Times, 4/8/2009.