SHANGHAI'S indoor concentration of PM2.5 pollutants has declined following the city's ban on smoking indoors and in certain public areas, according to a study released by Fudan University's Health Communication Institute.

A team of researchers took air samples from various public places — such as office buildings, hotels, restaurants, pubs, karaoke outlets, entertainment venues and farmers' markets — across the city before and three months after the ban on smoking was enacted.

The researchers found that the indoor concentration of PM2.5 pollutants had fallen to 64 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), from 115µg/m3.

PM2.5 stands for particulate matter, which are air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. They are hazardous to health.

Despite concerns that the smoking ban may spur more men to smoke in restrooms, the researchers found that the concentration of PM2.5 in men’s restrooms declined to 115 µg/m3, from 170 µg/m3.

At restaurants, the percentage of smokers fell to 11 percent, from 39 percent.

According to data collected from air-quality monitors installed in 22 restaurants in three districts, the density of nicotine declined to 0.63µg/m3, from 1.18µg/m3, while the density of nicotine in restaurant toilets dropped to 1.59µg/m3, from 3.97µg/m3.

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