ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — You would normally think that bar and restaurant owners would balk at the idea of having a separate ASHRAE IAQ standard for the hospitality industry. You would also think that public health advocates would jump for joy at the prospect.

And you’d be wrong.

The hospitality industry would welcome the standard, because it could allow patrons to smoke in communities that now have (or are considering) 100% smoking bans in public places. And advocates for smokers’ rights and public health would rather these establishments stick to the current ASHRAE IAQ standard, because it recognizes tobacco smoke and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS, second-hand smoke) as carcinogens; and 62.1 is, as one consulting engineer called it, “a nonsmoking standard.”

Besides the risk of liability, it seems many (if not most) design engineers do not relish the idea of yet another IAQ standard, especially in mixed-function facilities, such as a commercial office building with a bar/restaurant on the main floor.

The jury, as they say, is still out on this separate IAQ standard. But at least all the interested parties had a chance to speak their peace, and raise their pet issues.

Publication date: 01/14/2002