Editor’s note: While e-cigs may produce trace amounts of toxins, a preponderance of evidence indicates their use is less harmful to users and others in the immediate area than cigarette smoking by a large margin.
By Vivienne Aitken
Smokers’ homes can have air pollution levels up to 35 times those on busy roads, a study has found.
In the research, the PM2.5 levels in homes were measured, as well as those of busy roads and high streets.
The PM2.5 levels give the concentration of fine particles in the air which cause harm.
Pollution in a Dundee home was more than eight times worse than Aberdeen’s Union Street and pollution levels in a home in Lanarkshire were more than 10 times worse than a main street in Uddingston.
At times, the particle levels in each home were above the average found in Scottish pubs before they became smoke-free.
Campaigners say that because 85 per cent of all second-hand smoke is invisible, many people do not realise that the harmful chemicals can linger in the home for up to five hours.
Aberdeen University’s Dr Sean Semple said: “Children breathe faster than adults, meaning they breathe in more of these fine particles.
“Second-hand smoke can linger for many hours after a cigarette has been put out and can continue to harm children’s health even when you think the air has cleared.”
Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said yesterday: “Eleven per cent of children in Scotland are still exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.
“The Take it Right Outside campaign is about making sure people are aware smoking in one room, or at an open window or back door, isn’t enough.
“There are small changes parents can make to their smoking behaviour which will pay dividends in terms of protecting their children.”