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Passive Smoking

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has undertaken into levels of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke using (a) examinations of hair, blood, saliva and urine to detect constituents of metabolites of tobacco smoke, (b) personal monitors to gather data, (c) surveys and questionnaires on the time and frequency of exposure and (d) measurement of air concentration of constituents of second-hand tobacco smoke. [97573]

Research was recently commissioned to develop new and more accurate methodology to determine the constituents of sidestream smoke. The final methodology developed was published last year as "Sidestream smoke collection using a harmonised linear smoking machine" by Fiona Thomas and Keith Darrall in Beitrage zur Tabakforschung International, volume 20, part 2, pages 69—76, June 2002.The Department has not commissioned research into any of the other areas mentioned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of cases of lung cancer that are caused by passive smoking in the workplace. [103486]

[holding answer 20 March 2003]: The information is not available in the form requested.The independent Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) examined the increased risk of prolonged exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in its 1998 report. It was concluded that long term exposure of non-smokers to environmental tobacco smoke caused an increased risk of lung cancer which, in those living with smokers, is in the region of 20 to 30 per cent. The numbers of people exposed are not known precisely, but an estimate would suggest about several hundred extra lung cancer deaths a year are caused by exposure to passive smoking. A separate estimate for lung cancer caused by exposure to tobacco smoke in the workplace has not been produced.

Source:

Report of the Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health. London: The Stationery Office, 1998.

Availableat:http://www.archive.officiandocuments.co.uk/document/doh/tobacco/report.htm