Tobacco Research

Scientific research on exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke

New Website for Tobacco Smoke Outreach

The founder of the SimSmoke.Org website is now contributing to a new website TobaccoSmoke.Org, which aims to disseminate scientific information on exposure to secondhand smoke to the public. The new website contains booklets and briefings on published exposure measurements in cars, homes, the outdoors, and other locations.

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New Research on Secondhand Smoke in Cars and Vehicle Air Change Rates

A new article has been published (July 2007) on the amount of secondhand smoke air pollution that can occur in automobiles under various conditions. The Stanford University researchers (Ott, Klepeis, and Switzer) also measured many air exchange rates for different types of automobiles, which are valuable for use in simulating in-vehicle exposures to secondhand smoke as we do on the SimSmoke.Org website.

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New Study on Secondhand Smoke in Cars

A new study has been completed by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health showing that levels of secondhand smoke particles in cars can reach dangerous levels, even when windows are open. Based on 45 trials, they report that peak levels with closed windows were over 500 μg m-3, on average, and peak levels with open windows were about 100 μg m-3, on average. See if you can simulate levels of this magnitude using the vehicle simulation model available on this website.

An article describing the study is appearing in the November 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and can be downloaded.

Vaughan Rees, the lead author on the paper, says that “The smoke particle levels we measured are alarming and are above the threshold for what’s considered unhealthy for sensitive groups — people like children and the elderly."

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New Research on Residential Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Two new research papers on the simulation of exposure to secondhand smoke occurring in residences are being published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, authored by Dr. Neil Klepeis and Prof. William Nazaroff. (links: 1 , 2).

These papers contain detailed simulation results of likely exposures that can occur in homes for a variety of ventilation conditions and occupant behavior patterns.

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Outdoor Smoke Monitoring

Two reports have been released on the magnitude of outdoor tobacco smoke levels in typical locations, including private patios, airports, restaurants, and hospitals. The first report completed at Stanford University describes measurements made using real-time particle monitoring instruments that were carried by investigators to different locations where smokers were present. The second report (Part A, Exposure Assessment, Chapter V, page V-7 and Appendix C) completed by the California Air Resources Board describes integrated nicotine measurements and simultaneous counts of smokers. Nicotine is a unique indicator of the presence of tobacco smoke.

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