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February 14, 1996

Occupational Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California School of Public Health Berkeley

JAMA. 1996;275(6):442. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530300025020

In Reply.  —Dr Ogden exaggerates the impact of nicotine reemission. The concentration of nicotine in unoccupied settings is negligible, and neglecting it introduces only a minor error, whereas including the entire sampling time would grossly underestimate the true exposure of workers. Although the details of nicotine adsorption and reemission are not known, the rapid decay of nicotine has been widely reported.1,2 The average concentration measured over the full week may be expressed by the following formula:where h indicates hours; Cweek, average nicotine concentration over a full week; Cwork, average nicotine concentration during work; Cdecay, average nicotine concentration during the first hour after work; Cnight, average nicotine concentration overnight; and Cweekend, average nicotine concentration over the weekend.Data collected in a realistic setting, the inside of a furnished trailer,2 indicate that nicotine decays rapidly, to 10% of the initial level within 30 minutes