If you are a non-smoker living with someone who smokes indoors, you might as well inhale the fumes of your vehicle exhaust.
Researchers from Scotland’s University of Aberdeen discovered that people who don’t smoke but live in homes with a smoker are exposed to more than thrice the WHO limit for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which are air pollutants such as soot or dust. The data was gathered from 93 smoking households and 17 that are non-smokers. Comparison between the two home living conditions showed that PM 2.5 levels of smoking houses were ten times higher than the non-smoking counterpart.
In addition, air quality in smoking homes was comparable with the outdoor environment in polluted cities such as London. Researchers believe that by living in a smoke-free house reduces the exposure of non-smokers to air pollutants by as much as 70 percent. “These measurements show that secondhand tobacco smoke can produce very high levels of toxic particles in your home: much higher than anything experienced outside in most towns and cities in the UK. Making your home smoke-free is the most effective way of dramatically reducing the amount of damaging fine particles you inhale,” said lead study author Dr. Sean Semple in a news release.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2.5 million people who don’t smoke have died from secondhand smoke exposure since 1964.