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This is a collection of methods and results from research on the extent of smoking, signage, butts, and tobacco smoke pollution.

New Zealand

Hanmer Springs Smokefree and Vapefree Zone evaluation (PDF)

Smokefree sign, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Wilson N, Thomson G. Smokefree signage at railway stations: a survey of 54 stations in 11 local government areas. N Z Med J 2019;132(1490):59-61.

Thomson G, Wilson N. Smokefree signage at New Zealand racecourses and sports facilities with outdoor stands. N Z Med J 2017;130(1464):80-86.

Thomson G, Wilson N. Smokefree signage at children's playgrounds: Field observations and comparison with Google Street View. Tob Induc Dis 2017;15:37.

Wilson N, Thomson G. Surveying all outdoor smokefree signage in contrasting suburbs: methods and results. Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2017;28(3):264-65.

Thomson G, Nee-Nee J, Sutherland K, et al. Observed vaping and smoking in outdoor public places: piloting objective data collection for policies on outdoor vaping. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2019:Online 29 May

Otago/Southland, New Zealand, Fresh Air Project for smokefree outdoor dining: Evaluation report for the period November 2018 to March 2019

Nee-Nee J, Thomson G, Wilson N, Hoek J. Vaping and smoking outside hospitality venues and in streets: Objective data from pilot field observations. IUHPE 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion. [Oral Presentation], Rotorua, 8 April, 2019.

Gurram N. The point prevalence of smoking and vaping in Grey Street pocket square, Wellington: Report for the Wellington City Council on observations in Grey Street, Wellington in December 2018. January 2019

Gurram N, Thomson G. The point prevalence of smoking and vaping in downtown locations in Wellington: Report for the Wellington City Council on observations in November 2018. Wellington: University of Otago Wellington, November 29, 2018

Smokefree audit form for organisations, from Southern DHB

Thomson G, Nick Wilson, Ryan Gage. Healthy playgrounds: Do it yourself monitoring. New Zealand Public Health Association Conference, Christchurch, October 2017

Thomson G, Wilson N. Smokefree policies for racecourses and outdoor sports facilities. New Zealand Public Health Association Conference, Christchurch, October 2017

Wilson, N., Thomson, G. 2016. Evaluating smokefree compliance in a large smokefree park: Methods issues and results. University of Otago, Wellington, June 2016.

Thomson, G., Pathamanathan, N. 2016. The point prevalence of smoking in selected sports fields and downtown locations in Wellington: Observations in November 2015. University of Otago, Wellington, January 2016.

Wilson, N., Thomson, G. 2015. Suboptimal smokefree signage at some hospitals: Field observations and the use of Google Street View. N Z Med J 128, 56-59.

Wilson, N., Thomson, G., Edwards, R. 2015. The potential of Google Street View for studying smokefree signage. Aust N Z J Public Health 39, 295-296.

Martin, N., McHugh, et al. 2014. Observational study of the visibility of branded tobacco packaging and smoking at outdoor bars/cafes in Wellington, New Zealand. N Z Med J 127, 27-36.

Chan, J., Burnett, T., et al. 2014. Smoking in outdoor areas of bars and cafés: Large differences between midday and evening prevalences. Drugs: education, prevention and policy Online May 2014.

Oliver, J., Thomson, G., Wilson, N. 2014. Measurement of cigarette butt litter accumulation within city bus shelters. N Z Med J 127, 91-93.

Pearson AL, Nutsford D, Thomson G. Measuring visual exposure to smoking behaviours: a viewshed analysis of smoking at outdoor bars and cafes across a capital city's downtown area. BMC Public Health 2014;14:300.

In a 2011 study, being within metres of smoking on the street was associated with higher air pollution levels than being adjacent to busy road traffic. Smokefree policies for city streets could protect the health of pedestrians who are currently unable to avoid exposure to tobacco smoke pollution.

In March 2010, smoking was observed along a route of major shopping streets in central Wellington during Tuesday, Friday and Saturday of a single week. In 21 hours, 932 smokers were observed (seven smokers every ten minutes).


A 2008 observational study of smoking in 12 outdoor public places in central Toronto found that 37% of smoking occurred within 9 metres of building entrances. Mean particulate (PM2.5) levels were significantly associated with both the occurrence of smoking and the number of lit cigarettes.


A 2010 review suggests that 'Because of repeated and cumulative exposure to SHS in outdoor settings like beer gardens and outdoor eating areas, occupational exposures to PM2.5 from SHS are likely to be far higher than those experienced by patrons who are present for far shorter periods. …. It is thus plausible that occupational exposure to PM2.5 in outdoor work settings where smoking is allowed could exceed the Australian National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality benchmark annual average target of 8μg/m3 .'

United States

Survey research on locations where outdoor tobacco smoke exposure was found – including public sidewalks and near building doorways


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