Don’t compare air pollution to smoking’ News:
  1. Anti-tobacco activists are expressing concern that comparing the ill-effects of air pollution to that of smoking will result in trivialising the catastrophic effects of smoking.
Important Facts:
  1. Comparing air pollution to smoking is based on a formula proposed by a Berkeley Earth study that draws an equivalence between the hazards of the two.
  2. It also promotes the theory that it is all right to smoke as the air that we breathe is equally harmful.
  3. However, the author’s metaphor is being misinterpreted and it is belittling something as serious as tobacco control,” according to the activists.
  4. Activists are also worried that the misinterpreted comparison promotes a philosophy that one might as well smoke because it’s no worse than breathing polluted air.
  5. The argument also weakens the resolve of the government, the civil society and public health activists in controlling the tobacco menace.
  6. Comparison between Cigarette smoke and Air pollution:
  • The common ingredients of air pollution are mainly carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds and suspended particulate matter.
  • Cigarette smoke, in addition to all the above, is made of nearly 7,000 toxic chemicals and at least 69 of them are highly carcinogenic.
  • Moreover the dose or concentration of the suspended particulate matter in the air per day and per lifetime is nearly 200 times lesser than that from cigarettes.
  • When a smoker is present in the room, the indoor pollution levels are much higher than outdoor pollution at times.