The toxicology of environmental tobacco smoke

Hanspeter Witschi, Jesse P. Joad, Kent E Pinkerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


It has by now become obvious that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) may pose a health risk to nonsmokers. Epidemiological data suggest that exposure to ETS may increase the risk of developing lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, intrauterine growth retardation, predisposition to chronic lung disease, and sudden infant death syndrome. The human populations most at risk from ETS exposure appear to be neonates, young children, and possibly the fetus while in utero. Experimental studies with cigarette sidestream smoke (SS) have successfully duplicated several of these disease conditions in laboratory animals, particularly the effects of SS on fetal growth, lung maturation, and altered airway reactivity. The availability of animal models may open the way to fruitful experimental studies on mechanisms that help us to better understand disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-52
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
StatePublished - 1997


  • airway reactivity
  • intrauterine growth retardation
  • lung development
  • lung disease
  • pulmonary carcinogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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