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Tobacco Active and Passive Smoking

5. What is passive smoking?

    Passive (or involuntary) smoking is exposure to secondhand smoke, also called “environmental” tobacco smoke. Such smoke is a mixture of smoke exhaled by smokers and smoke released from the smouldering cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, etc.

    Secondhand tobacco smoke consists of both gases and particulates, which change as they get diluted and distributed in the environment and with time. The quantity of secondhand smoke inhaled involuntarily varies and its composition depends on smoking patterns and cigarette type. Concentrations in air may be elevated substantially in enclosed spaces.

    Secondhand smoke contains nicotine, as well as various carcinogens and toxins. Nicotine concentrations in the air in workplaces where smoking is permitted and in homes of smokers range on average from 2 to 10 µg/m3. More...


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