Since the publication of the US Surgeon General Reports in 1996 and 2006 and the report of the California Environmental Protection Agency in 1999, many reports have appeared on the contribution of air and biomarkers to different facets of the secondhand smoke (SHS) issue, which are the targets of this review. These recent studies have allowed earlier epidemiological surveys to be biologically validated, and their plausibility demonstrated, quantified the levels of exposure to SHS before the bans in various environments, showed the deficiencies of mechanical control methods and of partial bans and the frequently correct implementation of the efficient total bans. More stringent regulation remains necessary in the public domain (workplaces, hospitality venues, transport sector, etc.) in many countries. Personal voluntary protection efforts against SHS are also needed in the private domain (homes, private cars). The effects of SHS on the cardiovascular, respiratory and neuropsychic systems, on pregnancy and fertility, on cancers and on SHS genotoxicity are confirmed through experimental human studies and through the relationship between markers and prevalence of disease or of markers of disease risk.
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