Cigarette smoke produces 10 times more air pollution than diesel car exhaust
Environmental tobacco smoke produces fine particulate matter, which is the most dangerous element of air pollution for health. Levels indoors can far exceed those outdoors, because new engine models and lead free fuels have cut the levels of particulate matter emissions from car exhausts, say the authors.
The controlled experiment was carried out in a private garage in a small mountain town in northern Italy. The town enjoys very low levels of particulate matter air pollution
A turbo diesel 2 litre engine was started and left idling for 30 minutes in the garage, with the doors closed, after which the doors were left open for four hours. The car was fuelled with low sulphur fuel.
Three filter cigarettes were then lit up sequentially, and left smouldering for a further 30 minutes. The nicotine and tar content of each cigarette was 1 mg and 11.2 mg, respectively.
A portable analyser took readings every two minutes during the experiments.
Combined particulate levels in the first hour after the engine had been started measured 88 ug/m3. Those recorded in the first hour after the cigarettes had been lit measured 830 ug/m3: 10 times greater.
The diesel engine exhaust doubled the particulate matter levels found outdoors at its peak; the environmental tobacco smoke particulate matter reached levels 15 times those measured outdoors.
[Particulate matter from tobacco versus diesel car exhaust: an educational perspective Tobacco Control 2004; 13: 219-21]
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
n.p. "Cigarette smoke produces 10 times more air pollution than diesel car exhaust." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 25 Aug. 2004. Web.
29 May. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/12481.php>
n.p. (2004, August 25). "Cigarette smoke produces 10 times more air pollution than diesel car exhaust." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.