In the News

Smokers Emit More Pollution Than Cars

In the News Car Exposure

An article in the Orange County register presents a smoker who is also a smog technician. Compared to the emissions from the tailpipe of a car, the smoker is "a gross polluter." In fact, while cars only emit about 200 micrograms of fine particle mass per mile driven, a smoked cigarette emits about 10,000 micrograms. What does this mean for people riding inside a car with a smoker? You can explore this issue using the simulations available on this website.

List of Smoking Bans in the U.S.

In the News Multi-Location Exposure

The Wikipedia website has an ongoing list of all the current smoking bans in effect in the United States. Do the potential levels of secondhand smoke in the banned locations justify the ban? You can simulate indoor levels of secondhand smoke using some of the tools on this website.

Oakland, CA Enacts Outdoor Smoking Ban

In the News Outdoor Exposure

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland, California has passed a law banning outdoor smoking in ATM lines, parks, bus stops, and golf courses.

California Bans Smoking in Cars with Minors Present

In the News Car Exposure

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that bans smoking in cars when there are hildren 17 or under. Those caught doing so will face a $100 fine. The infraction will be a secondary offense, meaning that a police officer could not stop a motorist only for smoking in a car with a minor. Use the car exposure simulation to see how high secondhand smoke levels can be in cars.

Belmont, CA Bans Smoking in Apartments

In the News Residential Exposure

The city of Belmont, California has passed a law banning smoking inside multi-unit housing. Soon, we at SimSmoke.Org will offer tools to explore exposures caused by leakage or drift of secondhand smoke between apartment or condominium units.

New WHO Report on Smoking Policies

In the News

The World Health Organization (WHO) have released their report Policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. This document offers approaches to implementing policies that protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke. From the executive summary:

Scientific evidence has firmly established that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS), a pollutant that causes serious illnesses in adults and children. There is also indisputable evidence that implementing 100% smoke-free environments is the only effective way to protect the population from the harmful effects of exposure to SHS.

Revised NAAQS for Fine Particles

In the News

The USEPA has announced the revision of their 24-h National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The 24-h standard for fine particulate matter was reduced from 65 to 35 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³).

This is an important development, because it indicates that the USEPA has reviewed many peer-reviewed studies, and they have found that harm can occur from exposures to fine particles that exceed the new, lower level.

U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Involuntary Smoking

In the News

The U.S. Surgeon General has released its anticipated report "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke".

Important findings of the report include (paraphrased):

  • Secondhand smoke (SHS) causes death and disease
  • SHS has immediate (acute) health effects
  • There is no risk-free level of exposure to SHS
  • Only the elimination of smoking can protect nonsmokers

Calabasas Outdoor Smoking Ban Starts

In the News Outdoor Exposure

As reported on the KABC website, today the city of Calabasas, California began a strict ban on smoking in public outdoor spaces within 20 feet of places that people congregate.

Secondhand Smoke Found to be Toxic

In the News

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has just designated secondhand tobacco smoke as a toxic agent, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (there is also a shorter piece):

''The designation...places secondhand smoke in the same category as the poisons arsenic and benzene.''

''[Tobacco] smoke contains hundreds of harmful compounds, including carcinogens. Each year, California smokers put into the environment 40 tons of nicotine, 365 tons of small particles of pollution and 1,900 tons of carbon monoxide.''

This is a pretty big development with large implications for tobacco control policy.

A similar article on this development is on the Monsters and Critics website.

You may be interested in reading the original ARB press release or downloading the ARB report.

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