Sun | May 28, 2023

Second-hand smoke dangerous

Published:Saturday | April 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I write in response to the article, 'Smoking a nightclub hazard - No-smoking requests, "scrubbers" among strategies', published April 4. Scrubbers are not a strategy for clearing cancer-causing agents from the air of nightclubs. Companies selling these devices make disclaimers for health protection from second-hand smoke.

Espitech Air Products:

"We make no medical or health claims whatsoever and it is not our intention to do so … (The) goal or objective of (the) air purification systems we sell, for use in a smoking environment, is to provide relief from the annoyance of the odour produced by tobacco smoke, as well as some of the discomforts that the smoke (fumes) and odour causes. Espitech air products disclaims all warranties, implied or otherwise, that anyone (non-smoker or smoker) who installs our air purifiers, air cleaners or air scrubbers as an alternative to seeking a smoke-free environment will be protected from the health risks caused by exposure to second-hand smoke." ( Lito Espinosa, sales manager of Espitech Air Products.

Wein Products, Inc:"No air filtration or air purification system has been designed that can eliminate all of the harmful constituents of second-hand smoke. A reduction of the harmful constituents of second-hand smoke does not protect against the disease and death caused by exposure to second-hand smoke. The US Surgeon General has determined second-hand smoke to cause heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory illness. (


"We make no claims that this product will protect people from second-hand smoke … The Environizer electronic air purifiers do not eliminate such health hazards … the Environizer will not help remove gases that are found in tobacco smoke." J. Christian Angle/Trademark Corporate Attorney for Radio Shack Corporation. Radio Shack letter re: performance of air purifiers and health hazard claims on

Ventilation does not protect your health - the tobacco industry knows this.

Phillip Morris carries a disclaimer on its website under a section entitled 'Policies, Practices and Positions - Public Place Smoking' that admits that ventilation does not address health issues: "While not shown to address the health effects of secondhand smoke, ventilation can help improve the air quality of an establishment by reducing the sight and smell and by controlling smoke drift." (

Although Phillip Morris sponsored AtmospherePLUS (heating, ventilating and air conditioning consulting programme which promotes enhance(ing) indoor air quality through ventilation, a promotional brochure's fine-print reads, "atmospherePLUS does not purport to address health effects attributed to smoking".

Second-hand smoke is dangerous even if it is scrubbed as the carcinogens are still there ready to increase the risk for disease and cancer to every one who breathes in even scrubbed air.

Sacrificing our lungs, hearts and our bodies on the altar of smoking environments or scrubbed smoking environments ends up in tragedy.

I am, etc.,


President - Association of

General Practitioners of Jamaica,

Volunteer - Jamaica Cancer Society,

Member of Jamaica Coalition on Tobacco Control