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|Posted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:09 am Post subject: Passive smoking
|Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called secondhand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), from tobacco products used by others. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment. Scientific evidence shows that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke causes disease, disability, and death.
Passive smoking has played a central role in the debate over the harms and regulation of tobacco products. Since the early 1970s, the tobacco industry has been concerned about passive smoking as a serious threat to its business interests; harm to "innocent bystanders" was perceived as a motivator for stricter regulation of tobacco products. Despite an early awareness of the likely harms of secondhand smoke, the tobacco industry coordinated to engineer a scientific controversy with the aim of forestalling regulation of their products. Currently, the health risks of secondhand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus, and these risks have been one of the major motivations for smoking bans in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs.
The term "third-hand smoke" was recently coined to identify the residual tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette is extinguished and secondhand smoke has cleared from the air.Preliminary research suggests that byproducts of thirdhand smoke may pose a health risk, though the magnitude of risk, if any, remains unknown.
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