Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

December, 2002:

Exposure To Environmental Tobacco Smoke in an Automobile


Francis J. Offermann, Ron Colfer, Peter Radzinski, and Jonathan Robertson
Indoor Environmental Engineering, San Francisco, CA, USA


We measured exposures to ETS in a moving minivan under three different ventilation scenarios: drivers window open/ventilation off, windows closed/ventilation on, and windows closed/ventilation off. The driver smoked a single cigarette while we measured the concentration of ETS using laser aerosol monitors and the outside air exchange rate using a tracer gas decay technique. The indoor concentrations of respirable particulate matter increased during smoking by factors of 13 to 300 depending upon the ventilation configuration. The calculated exposure for a five hour automobile trip with the windows closed/ventilation off and with a smoking rate of 2 cigarettes per hour is 25 times higher than the same exposure scenario in a residence. Smoking low tar cigarettes or operation of air cleaners or ventilation equipment cannot reduce concentrations in automobiles to acceptable levels. The most effective solution to protecting passengers from ETS exposure is not to smoke in the automobile.

See the full document on Exposure To Environmental Tobacco Smoke in an Automobile here.

The Dark Side Of Marketing Seemingly Light Cigarettes

The dark side of marketing seemingly “Light” cigarettes: successful images and failed fact

R W Pollay, T Dewhirst – 2002

Objective: To understand the development, intent, and consequences of US tobacco industry advertising for low machine yield cigarettes.

Methods: Analysis of trade sources and internal US tobacco company documents now available on various web sites created by corporations, litigation, or public health bodies.

Results: When introducing low yield products, cigarette manufacturers were concerned about maintaining products with acceptable taste/flavour and feared consumers might become weaned from smoking. Several tactics were employed by cigarette manufacturers, leading consumers to perceive filtered and low machine yield brands as safer relative to other brands. Tactics include using cosmetic (that is, ineffective) filters, loosening filters over time, using medicinal menthol, using high tech imagery, using virtuous brand names and descriptors, adding a virtuous variant to a brand’s product line, and generating misleading data on tar and nicotine yields.

Conclusions: Advertisements of filtered and low tar cigarettes were intended to reassure smokers concerned about the health risks of smoking, and to present the respective products as an alternative to quitting. Promotional efforts were successful in getting smokers to adopt filtered and low yield cigarette brands. Corporate documents demonstrate that cigarette manufacturers recognised the inherent deceptiveness of cigarette brands described as “Light”or “Ultra-Light” because of low machine measured yields.

View the complete study on the dark side of marketing seemingly “Light” cigarettes: successful images and failed fact here.

Licensing Tobacco Sellers

Tobacco sellers, like alcohol sellers, should be licensed – to prevent illegal sale to children, and to cover the costs of regulation including retailer education and compliance monitoring.

In 2002 the Commonwealth commissioned a report into the desirability and best practice arrangements for the licensing of tobacco retailers and wholesalers. The findings, endorsed by the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, are yet to be fully implemented.

The report, by the Allen Consultancy Group, examined both the benefits and the objections and concluded that there is “a strong case, based on economic and public health rationales, to introduce licensing of tobacco sellers”. The report said:
• Licenses should be held by all tobacco wholesalers and retailers.
• Compliance with general tobacco control laws should be the minimum operational standard required by a licence holder.
• There should be scope for conditions to be applied to licences where this supports compliance with tobacco control laws.
• A licence should be able to be refused or withdrawn if the responsible person has contravened tobacco control laws.
• Licence fees should be set to recover only the costs associated with the
o administration of the licensing scheme;
o enforcement of the licences including inspections; and
o provision of information to applicants and licensees to ensure their continued and future compliance.
• Tobacco sales licensing should be seen as a health issue and controlled by health officials who may contract out elements of the scheme (licensing, inspections, enforcement) to third parties.
• There should be a graduated penalty structure that includes warnings, penalties, prosecutions and scope for licence withdrawal.

Objections to tobacco licensing or registration schemes
The authors concluded that the impediments – industry concerns about the cost of the schemes, some jurisdictional hesitancy and the general regulatory move away from licensing – should be countered on grounds that tobacco licensing schemes are clearly in the public interest.

View the report at$FILE/licensing_tobacco.pdf

They’ve done it
Four Australian jurisdictions – South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT – require tobacco sellers to be licensed.