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

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

This report will likely have major implications for tobacco policy in the U.S. and elsewhere. If even a small amount of secondhand smoke is thought to be harmful, then there probably will not be much tolerance even for partial smoking restrictions or technological control measures (e.g., fans or filters) in indoor, outdoor, or in-vehicle settings.

Using the simulations on this website, one can estimate the amount of residual SHS exposure that could occur -- even when spaces are ventilated.