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March 17, 1993

Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in California-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California, San Diego
Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer Melbourne, Victoria Australia
California Department of Health Sacramento

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1388. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110056034

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In Reply.  —Mr Collett claims that our conclusion calling for a smoke-free workplace is not justified by the reported data. He cites studies funded by the tobacco industry indicating that a smoke-free workplace is not necessary to protect nonsmokers from exposure to ETS since special ventilation systems can minimize contamination by ETS from designated smoking areas to nonsmoking areas.The issue is whether there is a threshold under which exposure to ETS is safe and over which it is harmful to the health of a nonsmoker. We know of no such safe level of ETS exposure. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has just classified ETS as a class A carcinogen on a par with asbestos and radon. Thus, we take the position that any exposure to ETS at all is to be avoided. In our study, we asked whether during the past 2 weeks the respondent had anyone smoke