Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Second-hand tobacco smoke

Involuntary (or passive) smoking is the exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) which is a mixture of exhaled mainstream smoke and side stream smoke released from a smouldering cigarette or other smoking device (cigar, pipe, bidi, etc.) and diluted with ambient air. Second-hand tobacco smoke is also referred to as "environmental" tobacco smoke (ETS). Involuntary smoking involves inhaling carcinogens and other toxic components that are present in second-hand tobacco smoke.

Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, adopted by all WHO Member States in May 2003, reads:

“Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke
1. Parties recognise that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability.
2. Each Party shall adopt and implement in areas of existing national jurisdiction as determined by national law and actively promote at other jurisdictional levels the adoption and implementation of effective legislative, executive, administrative and/or other measures, providing for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places.”


More information

List of publications

Policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke

Policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke

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E-mail: tfi@who.int