Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is the term for the substance in indoor air that originates from tobacco smoke. Breathing in ETS is known as passive smoking, second-hand smoke, or involuntary smoking. ETS refers to exposure to tobacco smoke - not from your own smoking, but from being exposed to someone else's cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoke.
What details are included in this document?
Wherever possible, examples from workplace exposure situations are used to explain the fundamental concepts of what environmental tobacco smoke is, what the health effects of passive smoking are, and secondhand exposure to vapours from electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). For information on policies and programs in the workplace, please see the OSH Answers document Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Workplace Policy.
What does tobacco smoke consist of in general?
More than 7,000 different chemicals have been identified in tobacco smoke, with about 70 of these chemicals reported to be known to cause cancer in animals, humans, or both. The solid particles make up about 10% of tobacco smoke and include ""tar"" and nicotine. The gases or vapours make up about 90% of tobacco smoke, with carbon monoxide being the main gas present. Other gases present include formaldehyde.
What does the vapour from electronic cigarettes (or ""e-cigarettes"") often consist of?
The most popular form of non-tobacco nicotine (NTN) is the e-cigarette, which is a device with a heating element that atomizes a solution containing water, nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and typically some flavoring. The devices have evolved over time, and those containing nicotine deliver nicotine more effectively. The puffing (vaping) method and puffing schedule also affect the user's delivery of nicotine.
What do ""mainstream"" and ""sidestream"" smoke mean?
Mainstream smoke (MS) is the smoke that a smoker inhales into their lungs before exhaling, while sidestream smoke (SS) is the smoke that enters the air directly from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Because some chemicals are favored by this incomplete burning, undiluted sidestream smoke contains higher concentrations of several chemicals than the mainstream smoke.
Can one measure one's exposure to ETS?
The exposure varies with the type and number of cigarettes or other tobacco products burned, the number of smokers present, the rate and manner of smoking, the room volume, the room ventilation rate, and the percentage of fresh (or makeup) air supplied. Exposure to ETS has been estimated in terms of ""cigarette equivalents,"" which can be measured by figuring out how many cigarettes are burned in a given amount of time.
What might some ""exposure equivalents"" be in a nutshell?
Such estimates depend greatly on the specific tobacco smoke contaminant chosen for the active/passive smoking comparisons, for example, it is thought that someone exposed to ETS will breathe in the same amount of the following contaminants as if they actively smoked one cigarette: same amount of carbon monoxide in one or two hours, same amount of nitrous oxide in one or two hours, and same amount of benzene in one or two hours.
What should I know about the studies looking at how ETS affects health?
While no single study can say that there is a 100% chance of health issues as a result of exposure to ETS, an association between ETS and various health conditions is considered very likely because there is: the proven link between heart diseases and lung cancer to active smoking; the finding that there is a relative risk* greater than 1.0 for non-smokers who are exposed to ETS.
What negative consequences on health might ETS exposure have?
Lung CancerThe evidence from multiple studies suggests that exposure to ETS increases the number of lung cancers found in non-smokers, with a relative risk of about 1.39.Cancers Other Than Lung CancerHistorically, studies focused on finding effects of ETS on the respiratory system. More recent studies suggest that exposure to ETS may increase the risk of cancer at sites other than the lung.
Why is the scope of these health impacts still up for discussion?
Because most studies on ETS rely on people's memories of events that occurred a long time ago, small increases in risk are difficult to detect in these circumstances. However, ETS is thought to increase a person's risk of certain health effects for the following reasons: an elevated risk is seen when all of the studies on ETS show that people who smoke are more likely to experience the following health effects:
Does working with ETS have any further health effects?
Yes, cigarette smoke can interact with other materials and chemicals in the workplace. It can: change existing chemicals into more harmful ones; increase exposure to existing toxic chemicals; increase the biological effects caused by certain chemicals; and interact synergistically with existing chemicals (the effects will be greater than the sum of the effects from the individual chemicals) (Also known as multiplicative effects)
What are some instances when smoking interacts with other workplace dangers?
Examples of these situations are as follows (based on research with active smokers): Occupation Exposure Smoking / Occupation Interaction +: Additive X: Multiplicative X?: Probably Multiplicative Disease Asbestos workers, construction workers, and others in contact with asbestos Asbestos +, X Lung cancer Chronic lung disease Aluminum smelter workers Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) + or X
Third-hand smoke: What is it?
When someone smokes indoors, smoke particles can become adsorbed into indoor surfaces like clothes, curtains, carpets, or cushions and remain on these surfaces even after the room has been ventilated. One study found that ETS exposure in women whose husbands smoke outside the house is comparable to that in women whose husbands smoke inside the house. Third hand smoke is cigarette smoke particles that become re-suspended in air after being on the furniture or clothes. For example, when smoking indoors, smoke particles can become""" - https://www.affordablecebu.com/