Cigarette contributing to Air Pollution more than automobiles

Whenever it comes to Air pollution we think about automobile exhaust and smoke coming out from chimneys in an industrial area. We never think about the smoke coming out of those humans who are are not only putting their health at risk but also others. When it comes to cigarette smoking, we usually think that its contribution to air pollution must be negligible compared to other well know sources, but it is just a lack of knowledge. Recently some researches but targeted on this particular subject and the results were surprising.

Italy's National Cancer Institute conducted a study by using a 2002 turbo diesel Ford Mondeo and "MS" filter cigarettes. They kept the vehicle in running condition in a garage for 30 minutes. The  the kept the garage ventilated for 4 hours and then then lit three cigarette one-after-another, which took three hours. As they compared the PM2.5 level, cigarette smoke created 10 times more PM2.5 than the 2002 model car. Today's newer models emit far less PM2.5, which means that it would be 100 times more than new cars. PM2.5 is a major pollutant in metro cities and now you know how much smokers are contributing in it. [1]

Usually we think that indoor air is cleaner than outdoor air, but if a smoker lives there then indoor air can be far worst than outdoor.

Some smokers speak against smoking bans by providing the fact that overall pollution through cigarettes is far less than any other source, but what they don't tell is the above fact which is visible through a test done in Beijing, where indoor air quality gets worse than outdoor through smoking. Actually the ban should be applied on indoor, which is making kids sick, but the truth is that such ban can't be implemented as no law can monitor what a person is doing indoor.

Around 15 billion filtered cigarettes are smoked every day. It will create as much PM2.5 which is created by 1 Billion Ford Mondeo running for 2 and half hours. In 2010 the number of vehicles in the the world crossed the 1 billion mark, which included cars, buses and trucks. Still if a smoker says that what harm is his little filtered cigarette doing, then it is just knowingly not understanding the facts.

I have seen smokers presenting facts against smoking bans and saying that they contribute a negligible amount in air pollution. After reading the above report, if a smoker can't quit, then at least he/she should not present cigarette smoking as something negligible. Smokers are putting everybody's health at risk, not just their own.

Most of the experts and governments refer to cigarette smoke only as a health hazard but never as air pollutant. Only due to health hazard of active and passive smoking some countries have banned smoking at public places, but what they are not considering is that air has got no boundaries and cigarette smoke is polluting our air more than we think. Apart from restrictions and heavy taxes on tobacco products, governments should educate the society, so that smokers quit and new generation never smokes.

Reference: 
[1] https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/tobaccocontrol/13/3/219.full.pdf
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