Smoking can be a significant contributor to indoor air pollution. Environmental tobacco smoke is made up of the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar, and the smoke that is exhaled by the smoker. It contains tar droplets and various harmful chemicals including carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Tobacco smoke also contains small amounts of some substances which have been shown to induce cancer in animals, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzene. A non-smoker's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is called passive smoking.
Tobacco smoke can irritate the eyes, nose and throat of those exposed to it. Babies and children with a parent who smokes are more prone to chest, ear, nose and throat infections. Children who are exposed are also more likely to develop breathing problems when they get older. Environmental tobacco smoke can be particularly detrimental to the unborn. It may also adversely affect people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. There is also an increased of lung cancer as a result of passive smoking.
If you choose to smoke at home, environmental tobacco smoke can be dispersed by increasing ventilation in the home, for example by opening a door or window.