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Last Edited: 8/28/2009


Tobacco smoke is known to contain thousands of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and others. Furthermore, smoking has been found strongly associated with numerous diseases, including lung cancer, chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease, exacerbation of asthma, low birth weight, and heart disease, since the first Surgeon General’s report on the topic in the late 1960’s. Much research has been conducted looking into these health effects and California has been fairly successful in reducing rates of active smoking. In terms of an environmental exposure, focus has shifted somewhat to passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure, as more people are exposed to tobacco smoke in that form and usually involuntarily. ETS contains most of the same components as mainstream smoke, but less was known about its effects until more recently. Research has indicated it may be associated with some of the same adverse health endpoints as smoking in those exposed long-term or during development.

EHIB investigators have been involved in conducting several studies on the effects of ETS exposure (or active smoking) in relation to reproductive and developmental outcomes, as well as asthma, and breast cancer. In addition, EHIB staff have worked with other agencies, such as the California EPA and the Centers for Disease Control, to summarize the data on health effects of ETS for formulation of policy recommendations. EHIB houses an asthma surveillance and awareness program that also works to inform the public about the effects of ETS on asthma, with partners such as the American Lung Association.



Related Projects


Related Links

  • California Tobacco Control Program  -- The mission of the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is to improve the health of all Californians by reducing illness and premature death attributable to the use of tobacco products.

  • Tobacco Related Disease Research Program  -- The mission of TRDRP is to support research that focuses on the prevention, causes, and treatment of tobacco-related disease and the reduction of the human and economic costs of tobacco use in California.