Promoting a tobacco free society

Second Hand Smoke - SHS

Second Hand Smoke - SHS

SHS is a complex mixture of several thousand compounds. It contains many known or suspected human carcinogens and toxic agents (World Health Organization 2000a).

SHS is made up of exhaled mainstream smoke, sidestream smoke emitted from smouldering tobacco, contaminants emitted during the puffs and contaminants that diffuse through the cigarette paper and the mouth end of cigarettes between puffs. Emissions contain both particle phase and vapour phase contaminants. Sidestream smoke is a major component of SHS, contributing over half of the particulate matter and nearly all of the vapour phase. SHS, sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke are complex mixtures of over 4000 compounds. These include more than 50 known or suspected human carcinogens, such as 4-aminobiphenyl, 2-naphthylamine, benzene, nickel, and a variety of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and N-nitrosamines. A number of irritants, such as ammonia, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and various aldehydes, and cardiovascular toxicants, such as carbon monoxide and nicotine are also present.

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