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Presentation of evidence of atmospheric pollution by cigarette tobacco smoke

What happens to the cigarette smoke once a cigarette is consumed? Scientific evidence shows that harmful compounds emitted by cigarettes persist in the atmosphere over time even after they are consumed.

The first evidence of tobacco atmospheric pollution and its effect on public health based on data from three countries will be presented to the public by Dr Noel Aquilina on Wednesday at 6pm at the office of the Azad Foundation, 224, Republic Street, Valletta. His presentation is entitled ‘Cigarette smoke: The invisible harm’.

According to the World Health Organisation, six million people die every year due to tobacco use and it is projected that by 2030, this figure will rise to eight million people per year. In 2014, 5.8 trillion cigarettes were consumed globally. An estimated $9 billion is spent yearly, or $1 million per hour, by the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use. Although awareness has increased throughout the years, smoking is still on the increase especially in southern and eastern Europe and China.

Dr Aquilina graduated with a BSc in chemistry and physics in 1994 and an MSc in atmospheric physics in 2001 from the University of Malta. In 2003 he participated in a European project in Portugal, working on meteorological modelling or urban areas and how this affects indoor air quality.

He obtained a PhD in atmospheric chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 2009. His main study was the measurement and modelling of personal exposure to organic pollutants from different sources. That same year he carried out research on indoor air quality in the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, the US.

In 2016 he was invited by a University of California research consortium in San Francisco, US, to study the effect of third-hand smoke on the air, among other effects.

He is a now a senior lecturer in the University’s Department of Geosciences. He forms part of the Atmospheric and Climate Research Group that carries out research in the sciences of the atmosphere and leads the group that focusses on regional climate modelling.

This is the fifth presentation of PhD research that Azad Academia is holding this academic year. For more information e-mail

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