Daily exposure to environmental tobacco smoke: smokers vs nonsmokers in California

Am J Public Health. 1996 Sep;86(9):1303-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.9.1303.


Objectives: This study examined the differences in environmental tobacco smoke exposure between smokers and non-smokers.

Methods: A probability sample of 1579 California adults completed a 1-day time diary of a full day's activities in which they reported whether any smoker was present during each activity.

Results: Some 61% of respondents reported at least some environmental tobacco smoke exposure in these diary accounts (for an average of up to 5 hours per day), and potential exposure rose monotonically with number of cigarettes actively smoked. Heaviest smokers reported about four times as much such exposure as nonsmokers.

Conclusions: Because smokers lead life-styles that expose them to far higher levels of environmental tobacco smoke exposure, that factor needs to be controlled in studies estimating the effects of active smoking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Probability
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution