Medical Definition of ETS
ETS: Environmental tobacco smoke. Smoke generated from the sidestream (the burning end) of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the exhaled mainstream smoke (the smoke that is puffed out by smokers) of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.
In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed its risk assessment on "The Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders" and concluded that the widespread exposure to ETS in the United States presented a serious and substantial public health impact. More specifically, EPA concluded that ETS is a human lung carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in US nonsmokers. Furthermore, infants and young children are especially sensitive to ETS. In children, ETS exposure is causally associated with:
Environmental tobacco smoke was classified as a "known human carcinogen" by the US government in 2000, based on the causal relationship observed between passive exposure to tobacco smoke and human lung cancer and based also on studies that have conclusively shown an increased risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking women living with smoking husbands or working with smoking co-workers.
Environmental tobacco smoke is also called second-hand smoke. Inhaling ETS is called involuntary or passive smoking.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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