Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and its health impacts: a review

  • Alemayehu Gashaw
  • Abile Teshita
  • Tewodros Getachew
Keywords: Environmental Tobacco Smoke, side stream smoke, main Stream smoke, tobacco.


Worldwide tobacco smoking kills nearly 6 million people each year, including more than
600,000 non-smokers who die from smoke exposure. Tobacco smoke is a toxic and carcinogenic mixture of more than 5,000 chemicals. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, is the combination of side stream smoke, the smoke given off by a burning tobacco product and mainstream smoke, the smoke exhaled by smokers. Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke is detrimental to health which may pose a health risks to nonsmokers. Epidemiological data suggest that exposure to ETS may increase the risk of developing lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, intrauterine growth retardation, predisposition to chronic lung disease, sudden infant death syndrome and is a risk factor for childhood asthma. The human populations most at risk from ETS exposure appear to be neonates, young children, and possibly the fetus while in uterus. The effects of ETS on human health are well-known, passive smoking is harmful to those who breathe the toxins and it is a serious problem for public health. Therefore, the decrease in smoking prevalence could provide substantial health gains in humans. This article reviews information on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) particles that are of potential interest to scientists and professionals involved in exposure or risk assessment, epidemiology, or tobacco policy and to compile effective ways of reducing exposure in order to contribute to the wellbeing of human.

Keywords: Environmental Tobacco Smoke, side stream smoke, main Stream smoke, tobacco.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631