Secondhand smoke (SHS) is considered to be a mixture of two forms of smoke occurring from burning cigarettes pipe or cigar, sidestream and mainstream smoke. Sidestream smoke comes from the lit end of the burning tobacco product, while mainstream smoke is exhaled by the smoker. There is no safe level of exposure to SHS, a designated Type A carcinogen responsible for a plethora of preventable diseases.
It is estimated that in EU, 29% of non-smokers are exposed to SHS. SHS is estimated to cause about 600,000 premature deaths per year worldwide, the majority of which are among children and women.
In light of the above, the implementation of smoke-free environments has been identified as a priority by the World Health Organization (WHO). Indeed, according to Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), “all countries recognize that exposure to SHS causes death, disease and disability while all parties are obligated to adopt and implement effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures, in order to provide protection from SHS in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and other public places”.