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?"