General news articles about exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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):
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.
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.''