Environmental Tobacco Smoke: An Analysis of State and Local Policies To Reduce Exposure

EPA Grant Number: U916087
Title: Environmental Tobacco Smoke: An Analysis of State and Local Policies To Reduce Exposure
Investigators: Smith, Jimmie H.
Institution: Fort Valley State University
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: January 1, 2002 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $65,431
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Environmental Science and Engineering


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) analyze state and local public policies to reduce environmental tobacco smoke (ETS); (2) determine the effectiveness of such measures; and (3) determine the feasibility of such policies in middle Georgia.


The 1964 Surgeon General's Report, although controversial in its day but now well accepted, launched what has since been called the "antismoking campaign," consisting of a wide variety of private- and public-sector activities intended to reduce the disease burden of tobacco use. Although some tobacco control efforts had begun earlier, sustained public health and policy efforts to reduce these hazards largely began in 1964, and have expanded over the ensuing years. Early efforts were directed at educating smokers about the health hazards of cigarettes and expanding scientific knowledge of the health consequences of smoking. This was followed by efforts to restrict cigarette advertising and the development of the nonsmokers' rights movement. Recently, efforts have focused on restricting children's access to tobacco products, holding tobacco manufacturers legally responsible for the dangers of their products, and increasing the excise tax on cigarettes.

Tobacco use is responsible for more than 430,000 deaths per year among adults in the United States, representing more than 5 million years of potential life lost. If current tobacco use patterns persist in the United States, an estimated 5 million persons under the age of 18 years will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease. Direct medical costs related to smoking are estimated to total at least $50 billion per year, and those costs related to smoking during pregnancy are estimated to be at least $1 billion per year.

The detrimental effects of exposure to ETS are well established. ETS is composed of sidestream smoke, emitted by the burning tip of a cigarette, and mainstream smoke, which is inhaled by and then exhaled from the smoker. Twice as much nicotine is emitted in sidestream as in mainstream smoke, yet the carcinogen 4-aminobiphenyl is enriched about 30-fold in sidestream smoke. Sidestream smoke contains higher concentrations of ammonia, benzene, and carbon monoxide, for combustion is less complete in sidestream than in mainstream smoke and because mainstream smoke is diluted by air passing though porous cigarette paper. ETS is a complex mixture of nearly 5,000 chemical compounds; this mixture contains 43 chemicals that have met the criteria of a known human or animal carcinogen established by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The results of this research project may be affected by the following factor(s) beyond the control of the researcher: (1) weak experimental design of an identified intervention; (2) current legislation may be pending at state or local level; and (3) public policy may not be extrapolated to middle Georgia.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, cigarettes, tobacco, nonsmokers' rights, tobacco use, sidestream or mainstream smoke, carcinogen, nicotine, ammonia, benzene, carbon monoxide., Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Health Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, Indoor Air Pollution, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, indoor air, policy analysis, second hand smoke, indoor air chemistry, human exposure, tobacco, inhaled, environmental tobacco smoke, indoor air quality, public health policy, air quality, cancer risk

Relevant Websites:

2004 STAR Graduate Fellowship Conference Poster (PDF, 1p., 248KB, about PDF)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002
  • Final