Do health and liability risks associated with smoking outweigh the need to provide design guidance to the HVACR industry? A recently published addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-2001, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, contains a non-mandatory appendix that describes a method for ventilating spaces where smoking takes place. Its purpose is to achieve comfort and not to address health effects.

"The harmful nature of secondhand smoke is not questioned by mainstream scientists," Lawrence Schoen, P.E., Schoen Engineering Inc., Columbia, MD, said. "And the actions of ASHRAE acknowledge that acceptable indoor cannot be achieved in the presence of secondhand smoke. Does the appendix accomplish even its limited stated goal of comfort? To what health and liability risks does publication of such material expose ASHRAE and its users, such as designers, installers, operators and occupants?"

Issues surrounding the ventilation of smoking spaces will be addressed in a seminar at the ASHRAE 2004 Winter Meeting, January 24-28, Anaheim, CA. Standard 62's Comfort-Only Approach to Smoking Spaces will be held from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, January 27. It is sponsored by ASHRAE's technical committee on ventilation requirements and infiltration.

Speakers will discuss limitations of this method in providing comfort and the magnitude of health risks that can be anticipated in spaces designed according to it, according to Schoen, who will chair the session. They also will address ASHRAE's rationale for providing the guidance.

Schoen notes that attendees will learn about the issues, the risks and ASHRAE's direction in this area.

Speakers and presentations will be:

  • Can a System with ETS Comply with Standard 62-2001?, Dennis Stanke, The Trane Co., La Crosse, WI.
  • Comfort Ventilation For Secondhand Smoke: A Health Hazard, James Repace, Repace Associates Inc., Bowie, MD.
  • Implications of ASHRAE's Guidelines for Ventilation in Smoking Permitted Areas, Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco, San Francisco.
  • ASHRAE Must Provide Guidance to the Design Community, William Coad, P.E., Coad Engineering Enterprises, St. Louis.