Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Outside of a Bar and a Restaurant and Tobacco Exposure Biomarkers in Non-smokers

Despite large positive effects of smoke­free air laws on public health, indoor smoking bans seem to result in increased smoking out­side establishments, in outdoor seating areas, or near the entrances of such establishments.  The effects of secondhand smoke (SHS) on non-smokers has become a public health concern and is the focus of a recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in July, 2012.  Gideon St. Helen, PhD, a second-year fellow at Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and colleagues investigated the uptake of tobacco-specific compounds in 27 nonsmokers after they were exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) outside a restau­rant and a bar in Athens, Georgia. 

SHS is a combination of smoke emitted from a burning tobacco product and the smoke exhaled by the smoker.  Scientific evidence contin­ues to show that SHS exposure is causally associated with lung cancer among never-smokers or among nonsmokers.  Secondhand smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by approximately 30% (Barnoya and Glantz 2005) and the risk of respiratory diseases (Flouris et al. 2009).  Click here to read full article