Smoking – Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Passive Smoking

What is ETS?

ETS stands for Environmental Tobacco Smoke. It is made up of both:

  • Sidestream smoke, which is the smoke that comes out of burning cigarettes, pipes and cigars, and
  • Mainstream smoke, which is the smoke that is exhaled by smokers.

It is also known as ‘second-hand’ tobacco smoke and ‘tobacco smoke pollution’.

What is passive smoking?

Passive smoking, also known as involuntary smoking, occurs when you inhale ETS.

Is passive smoking harmful to your health?

Studies in Australia and overseas have shown that passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, as well sore throats, nasal symptoms, asthma, chest infections and eye irritation.

In children, it increases the risk of middle ear infections, croup, bronchitis and asthma1.

What are my rights with regard to passive smoking?

There is now legislation that restricts public smoking. Look in the section Smoking and the law for details about this legislation.

The international and Australian tobacco industries have known about the effects of passive smoking and have undertaken some deceptive campaigns to try to hide the facts. Look in the section The tobacco industry for more details about these efforts.

A useful link

The Health Effects of Passive Smoking – A Scientific Information Paper

Reference

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), The Health Effects of Passive Smoking – A Scientific Information Paper. Commonwealth of Australia. Canberra, November 1997.

This Fact Sheet is brought to you courtesy of The Cancer Council NSW

More info:
Download the Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Passive Smoking Fact Sheet

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