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      Particulate matters from diesel heavy duty trucks exhaust versus cigarettes emissions: a new educational antismoking instrument

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          Indoor smoking in public places and workplaces is forbidden in Italy since 2003, but some health concerns are arising from outdoor secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure for non-smokers. One of the biggest Italian Steel Manufacturer, with several factories in Italy and abroad, the Marcegaglia Group, recently introduced the outdoor smoking ban within the perimeter of all their factories. In order to encourage their smoker employees to quit, the Marcegaglia management decided to set up an educational framework by measuring the PM 1, PM 2.5 and PM 10 emissions from heavy duty trucks and to compare them with the emissions of cigarettes in an indoor controlled environment under the same conditions.


          The exhaust pipe of two trucks powered by a diesel engine of about 13.000/14.000 cc 3 were connected with a flexible hose to a hole in the window of a container of 36 m 3 volume used as field office. The trucks operated idling for 8 min and then, after adequate office ventilation, a smoker smoked a cigarette. Particulate matter emission was thereafter analyzed.


          Cigarette pollution was much higher than the heavy duty truck one. Mean of the two tests was: PM 1 truck 125.0(47.0), cigarettes 231.7(90.9) p = 0.002; PM 2.5 truck 250.8(98.7), cigarettes 591.8(306.1) p = 0.006; PM 10 truck 255.8(52.4), cigarettes 624.0(321.6) p = 0.002.


          Our findings may be important for policies that aim reducing outdoor SHS exposure. They may also help smokers to quit tobacco dependence by giving them an educational perspective that rebuts the common alibi that traffic pollution is more dangerous than cigarettes pollution.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Acute inflammatory responses in the airways and peripheral blood after short-term exposure to diesel exhaust in healthy human volunteers.

           B Rudell,  A Frew,  S Salvi (1999)
          Several epidemiologic studies have demonstrated a consistent association between levels of particulate matter (PM) in the ambient air with increases in cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity. Diesel exhaust (DE), in addition to generating other pollutants, is a major contributor to PM pollution in most places in the world. Although the epidemiologic evidence is strong, there are as yet no established biological mechanisms to explain the toxicity of PM in humans. To determine the impact of DE on human airways, we exposed 15 healthy human volunteers to air and diluted DE under controlled conditions for 1 h with intermittent exercise. Lung functions were measured before and after each exposure. Blood sampling and bronchoscopy were performed 6 h after each exposure to obtain airway lavages and endobronchial biopsies. While standard lung function measures did not change following DE exposure, there was a significant increase in neutrophils and B lymphocytes in airway lavage, along with increases in histamine and fibronectin. The bronchial biopsies obtained 6 h after DE exposure showed a significant increase in neutrophils, mast cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes along with upregulation of the endothelial adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, with increases in the numbers of LFA-1+ cells in the bronchial tissue. Significant increases in neutrophils and platelets were observed in peripheral blood following DE exposure. This study demonstrates that at high ambient concentrations, acute short-term DE exposure produces a well-defined and marked systemic and pulmonary inflammatory response in healthy human volunteers, which is underestimated by standard lung function measurements.
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            Passive smoking and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: prospective study with cotinine measurement.

            To examine the associations between a biomarker of overall passive exposure to tobacco smoke (serum cotinine concentration) and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Prospective population based study in general practice (the British regional heart study). 4729 men in 18 towns who provided baseline blood samples (for cotinine assay) and a detailed smoking history in 1978-80. Major coronary heart disease and stroke events (fatal and non-fatal) during 20 years of follow up. 2105 men who said they did not smoke and who had cotinine concentrations or = 0.7 ng/ml) were 1.45 (1.01 to 2.08), 1.49 (1.03 to 2.14), and 1.57 (1.08 to 2.28), respectively, after adjustment for established risk factors for coronary heart disease. Hazard ratios (for cotinine 0.8-14.0 nu > or = 0.7 ng/ml) were particularly increased during the first (3.73, 1.32 to 10.58) and second five year follow up periods (1.95, 1.09 to 3.48) compared with later periods. There was no consistent association between cotinine concentration and risk of stroke. Studies based on reports of smoking in a partner alone seem to underestimate the risks of exposure to passive smoking. Further prospective studies relating biomarkers of passive smoking to risk of coronary heart disease are needed.
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              Smoke-free air policies: past, present and future.

              Smoke-free policies have been an important tobacco control intervention. As recently as 20 years ago, few communities required workplaces and hospitality venues to be smoke-free, but today approximately 11% of the world's population live in countries with laws that require these places to be smoke-free. This paper briefly summarises important milestones in the history of indoor smoke-free policies, the role of scientific research in facilitating their adoption, a framework for smoke-free policy evaluation and industry efforts to undermine regulations. At present, smoke-free policies centre on workplaces, restaurants and pubs. In addition, many jurisdictions are now beginning to implement policies in outdoor areas and in shared multiunit housing settings. The future of smoke-free policy development depends on credible scientific data that documents the health risks of secondhand smoke exposure. Over the next 20 years smoke-free policies will very likely extend to outdoor and private areas, and changes in the types of tobacco products that are consumed may also have implications for the nature and scope of the smoke-free policies of the future.

                Author and article information

                Multidiscip Respir Med
                Multidiscip Respir Med
                Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 January 2016
                22 January 2016
                : 11
                [ ]Tobacco Control Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
                [ ]Patient Information Service, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
                © De Marco et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Original Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016

                Respiratory medicine

                second hand smoke, educational perspective, smoking cessation


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