ATLANTA, GA — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE’s) Board Policy Committee on Standards announced that it will discuss possible roles the society could play in the ventilation of smoking areas. Smoking issues were addressed at ASHRAE’s 2002 Winter Meeting, held Jan. 12-16 in Atlantic City, NJ. Speakers represented the hospitality industry, tobacco interests, tobacco control, and health groups.

“Building professionals need information on ventilating smoking spaces, and ASHRAE needs to provide it,” said James Hill, chair of the committee.

The committee will study what guidance the society should provide for ventilating smoking spaces, using information gathered from representatives on all sides of the issue. The society said that guidance on smoking and nonsmoking spaces is addressed in Standard 62-2001, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.”

The Standard 62 committee is working to develop ventilation rates for smoking spaces in the form of an appendix to the standard, according to chair Andrew Persily. He has been asked to provide the Board Policy Committee with options for the group to consider.

“I expect a wide range of options,” Hill said. “Smoking advocates likely will push to keep smoking and indoor air quality together. Smoking opponents likely will push to take no action for fear it will imply some sort of endorsement of smoking by ASHRAE.”

The committee said it hopes to discuss the issue at a meeting later this spring.

Publication date: 02/25/2002