Tobacco smoke aging in the presence of ozone: a room‐sized chamber study

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Journal Article

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Exposure to tobacco pollutants that linger indoors after smoking has taken place (thirdhand smoke, THS) can occur over extended periods and is modulated by chemical processes involving atmospheric reactive species. This study investigates the role of ozone and indoor surfaces in chemical transformations of tobacco smoke residues. Gas and particle constituents of secondhand smoke (SHS) as well as sorbed SHS on chamber internal walls and model materials (cotton, paper, and gypsum wallboard) were characterized during aging. After smoldering 10 cigarettes in a 24-m3 room size chamber, gas-phase nicotine was rapidly removed by sorption to chamber surfaces, and subsequently re-emitted during ventilation with clean air to a level of ~10% that during the smoking phase. During chamber ventilation in the presence of ozone (180 ppb), ozone decayed at a rate of 5.6 h-1 and coincided with a factor of 5 less nicotine sorbed to wallboard. In the presence of ozone, no gas phase nicotine was detected as a result of re-emission, and higher concentrations of nicotine oxidation products were observed than when ventilation was performed with ozone-free air. Analysis of the model surfaces showed that heterogeneous nicotine-ozone reaction was faster on paper than cotton, and both were faster than on wallboard. However, wallboard played a dominant role in ozone-initiated reaction in the chamber due to its large total geometric surface area and sink potential compared to the other substrates. This study is the first to show in a room-sized environmental chamber that the heterogeneous ozone chemistry of sorbed nicotine generates THS constituents of concern, as observed previously in bench-top studies. In addition to the main oxidation products (cotinine, myosmine and N-methyl formamide), nicotine-1-oxide was detected for the first time.


Atmospheric Environment



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