This study was undertaken to investigate the extent of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure in coffeehouses, as these are commonly frequented public places in Turkey. From 86 coffeehouses in the 3 districts, 59 coffeehouse workers and 35 hospital staff members ( as a control group) were evaluated. Participants answered a questionnaire about demographics, working characteristics, smoking behavior, and ETS exposure during their daily life lives. The amount of nicotine in hair was determined by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The mean hair nicotine level of the nonsmoker and smoker coffeehouse workers were 23.2 +/- 12.3 mu g/g and 62.5 +/- 49.8 mu g/g, respectively. Among the hospital staff, mean hair nicotine levels were 4.5 +/- 6 mu g/g in nonsmokers and 30.6 +/- 14 mu g/g in smokers. Working in coffeehouses has a marked effect on hair nicotine levels and potential adverse health effects.