Ann. Tabac, 1992, Sect. 1-21, p. 17-45., ISSN-0399-0206

Environnemental tobacco smoke: the risks for no-smokers

SEITA, Centre de Recherche, Fleury les Aubrais, France
The litterature on health risks for non smokers, resulting from passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, is abundant and conflicting. This bibliographical review attempts to make a critical analysis of the studies to facilitate the interpretation of data. Measurements of sidestream emission allow to compare different cigarettes but not to predict an ambiant contamination, because of the diversity of environmental conditions and the evolution of the smoke after its dilution in the atmosphere. The air analyses in the rooms reveal the existence of numerous other pollution sources. The non-smokers' exposure, as assessed from biomarkers, represents only a few hundredth or, at the most, a few tenth of smokers doses. Consequently, the effects attributed to the passive exposure to ETS are little plausible. Those effects cannot be considered as demonstrated, for they are determined by experimental or epidemiological studies which generally suffer from many methodological weakness. However, the effects observed on very young children and on hyper-sensitivised subjects remain worrying and should be clarified and confirmed in very rigourous conditions.