Passive smoking: clinical aspects and workers' awareness

J. Shaham, M. Green, J. Ribak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tobacco smoke contains a wide range of toxic vapors and particles which when inhaled are injurious both to the smoker himself (active smoking) and to those around him (passive smoking). It is extremely difficult to define precisely the harmful effects of passive smoking on the individual's health because of problems in quantifying the extent of exposure. A number of epidemiological studies indicate that exposure to passive smoking in public places is circumstantially, but marginally, linked to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as to pulmonary morbidity. both benign and malignant. Many clinical conditions are further aggravated by exposure to a combination of tobacco smoke and other industrial materials, including cadmium, and radon daughters. Passive smoking during pregnancy constitutes a health hazard for both mother and fetus. Exposure to passive smoking during childhood may predispose to benign and malignant pulmonary morbidity in adulthood. For many the workplace is the main site of exposure. In a pilot study during the past year on 1197 white and blue-collar workers, we found that the proportion of nonsmokers exposed to tobacco smoke at work is very high, almost 80%, and that workers are bothered by it. 2/3 are aware of the serious adverse health effects of tobacco smoke. 98% of the passive smokers and 75% of the active smokers considered legislation to limit smoking in public places justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58, 71
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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