Researchers invent secondhand tobacco smoke sensor that records data in real time

Published on March 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM · 1 Comment

Making headway against a major public health threat, Dartmouth College researchers have invented the first ever secondhand tobacco smoke sensor that records data in real time, a new study in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research shows.

The researchers expect to soon convert the prototype, which is smaller and lighter than a cellphone, into a wearable, affordable and reusable device that helps to enforce no smoking regulations and sheds light on the pervasiveness of secondhand smoke. The sensor can also detect thirdhand smoke, or nicotine off-gassing from clothing, furniture, car seats and other material.

The device uses polymer films to reliably measure ambient nicotine vapor molecules and a sensor chip to record the real-time data, pinpointing when and where the exposure occurred and even the number of cigarettes smoked. The prototype proved successful in lab tests. Clinical studies will start this summer.

Such a device could help to enforce smoking bans in rental cars, hotel rooms, apartment buildings, restaurants and other places. It also could help convince smokers that smoking in other rooms, out of windows and using air fresheners still exposes children and other nonsmokers to secondhand smoke. The device would be more accurate and less expensive than current secondhand smoke sensors, which provide only an average exposure in a limited area over several days or weeks.

"This is a leap forward in secondhand smoke exposure detection technology," said Chemistry Professor Joseph BelBruno, whose lab conducted the research.

Federal health officials report there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, which increases the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and childhood illness. An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54 percent of children ages 3 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke.

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Comments
  1. John Davidson John Davidson United States says:

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    vitals.nbcnews.com/.../16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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