Environmental Tobacco Smoke

This page last reviewed July 23, 2015

ARB is currently working on the second phase of the ETS TAC identification process outlined in Assembly Bill 1807. The ETS team  is looking at how the public is exposed and what laws and controls are in place to reduce or eliminate this exposure.

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), also known as secondhand smoke (SHS), is a complex mixture of chemicals generated during the burning and smoking of tobacco products. Researchers have identified over 4,000 individual compounds in ETS, many of which are known or suspected carcinogens and respiratory toxicants.

On January 26, 2006, the Air Resources Board, following a lengthy review and public outreach process, determined ETS to be a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) as mandated by Assembly Bill 1807. The review and outreach process began in 2001 and all notices and technical documents related to ARB's review can be found on our Web site. These documents include an Executive Summary, an exposure assessment, and a health effects review. Public comments made in response to ARB and OEHHA's findings during the review process have also been published.

Now that ETS has been identified as a TAC, ARB will evaluate the need for action to reduce ETS exposure. In this risk reduction step, a thorough analysis of the best methods of controlling ETS exposure will be conducted; this will include a review of the control measures already in place. ARB will also evaluate potential new measures to control ETS exposure and examine the associated costs and benefits.

The Fact Sheet on the Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant is also available to provide answers to commonly asked questions. For more information, please contact Robert Krieger at (916) 323-1202.