Health risks of living with a smoker comparable with living in a heavily polluted city
Researchers in Scotland have found that living in houses where people smoke carries similar health risks for non-smokers as living in a smoke-free home in a heavily polluted city like London or Beijing.
The study, published in the journal, Tobacco Control, involved analysing the data from four linked studies that monitored levels of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, a type of air pollutant known to affect lung and heart health, in smoking and non-smoking homes.
The researchers looked at this data alongside information on typical breathing rates and people’s daily activity patterns to work out the levels of PM2.5 that members of these households were exposed to.
They found that, on average, the level of PM2.5 in smoking homes was 10 times higher than non-smoking households. Non-smokers in these homes came into contact with over three times the maximum annual PM2.5 exposure levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
These findings highlight the dangers of passive smoking, and the need to reduce exposure to passive smoke in the home.