- 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.
- 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.
- It also promotes the theory that it is all right to smoke as the air that we breathe is equally harmful.
- However, the author’s metaphor is being misinterpreted and it is belittling something as serious as tobacco control,” according to the activists.
- 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.
- The argument also weakens the resolve of the government, the civil society and public health activists in controlling the tobacco menace.
- 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.