Tobacco Smoke

Learn about the harmful effects it has on our environment!

By: Skylar Cole

Health Problems:

Key Signs/Symptoms in Adults ...

  • rhinitis/pharyngitis, nasal congestion, persistent cough
  • conjunctival irritation
  • headache
  • wheezing (bronchial constriction)
  • exacerbation of chronic respiratory conditions

... and in Infants and Children

  • asthma onset

  • increased severity of, or difficulty in controlling, asthma

  • frequent upper respiratory infections and/or episodes of

    otitis media

  • persistent middle-ear effusion

  • snoring

  • repeated pneumonia, bronchitis

Environmental Effects:

Environmental tobacco smoke is a major source of indoor air contaminants. The ubiquitous nature of ETS in indoor environ- ments indicates that some unintentional inhalation of ETS by nonsmokers is unavoidable. Environmental tobacco smoke is a dynamic, complex mixture of more than 4,000 chemicals found in both vapor and particle phases. Many of these chemicals are known toxic or carcinogenic agents. Nonsmoker exposure to ETS-related toxic and carcinogenic substances will occur in indoor spaces where there is smoking.

What's the Solution?

The most effective solution is to eliminate all smoking from the individual’s environment, either through smoking prohibitions or by restricting smoking to properly designed smoking rooms. These rooms should be separately ventilated to the outside.

You Aren't the Only One Affected!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified ETS as a known human (Group A) carcinogen and estimates that it is responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year among nonsmokers in the United States.8 The U.S. Surgeon General, the National Research Council, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also concluded that passive smoking can cause lung cancer in otherwise healthy adults who never smoked.