Secondhand smoke exposure and other signs of tobacco consumption at outdoor entrances of primary schools in 11 European countries



Henderson E, Continente X, Fernández E, Tigova O, Cortés-Francisco N, Gallus S, Lugo A, Semple S, O'Donnell R, Clancy L, Keogan S, Ruprecht A, Borgini A, Tzortzi A & Dobson R (2020) Secondhand smoke exposure and other signs of tobacco consumption at outdoor entrances of primary schools in 11 European countries. Science of the Total Environment, 743, Art. No.: 140743.

Introduction Although smoking restrictions at child-related settings are progressively being adopted, school outdoor entrances are neglected in most smoke-free policies across Europe. Objectives To describe secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and tobacco-related signs in outdoor entrances of primary schools in Europe according to area-level socioeconomic status (SES), smoke-free policy, national smoking prevalence, and geographical region. Methods In this cross-sectional study we monitored vapor-phase nicotine concentrations at 220 school outdoor entrances in 11 European countries (March 2017–October 2018). To account for nicotine presence, we used the laboratory's limit of quantification of 0.06 μg/m3 as point threshold. We also recorded the presence of smell of smoke, people smoking, cigarette butts, and ashtrays. Half of the schools were in deprived areas. We grouped countries according to their Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) score, smoking prevalence (2017–2018), and United Nations M49 geographical region. Results There were detectable levels of nicotine in 45.9% of the outdoor entrances, in 29.1% smell of smoke, in 43.2% people smoking, in 75.0% discarded butts, and in 14.6% ashtrays. Median nicotine concentration was below the laboratory's limit of quantification

Tobacco smoke pollution; Child; Smoke-free regulations; Educational center

Additional co-authors: Vergina K. Vyzikidou, Giuseppe Gorini, Angel López-Nicolás, Joan B. Soriano, Gergana Geshanova, Joseph Osman, Ute Mons, Krzysztof Przewozniak, José Precioso, Ramona Brad, Maria J. López, and the TackSHS project Investigators

Science of the Total Environment: Volume 743

FundersEuropean Commission (Horizon 2020)
Publication date15/11/2020
Publication date online07/07/2020
Date accepted by journal02/07/2020

People (2)


Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Dr Rachel O'Donnell

Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Professor Sean Semple

Professor Sean Semple

Professor, Institute for Social Marketing