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passive smoking, vascular disease



  1. Ahijevych, Karen PhD, RN
  2. Wewers, Mary Ellen PhD, MPH, RN


Passive smoking, or environmental tobacco smoke, is a causative factor in cardiovascular disease. A 30-minute passive smoking exposure was found to affect coronary flow velocity reserve in nonsmokers, indicating endothelial dysfunction in coronary circulation. This article summarizes empirical work on passive smoking and heart disease. Clinically relevant findings include a dose-response relationship between passive smoking exposure and heart disease and partial reversibility of physical effects after eliminating passive smoking exposure. Appropriate assessment of passive smoking exposure in a variety of settings is warranted, as well as recommendations to avoid such exposure. Policy-based public health initiatives to eliminate passive smoking in the workplace and other public areas are needed.