Cigarette smoking consitutes the major sorse of exposure to carcinogens in the general population. Thus, its quantitative and objective evaluation is essential, particularly in preventive medicine, since the negative health effects of tobacco smoke are well documented. The particulate phase of main stream smoke contains most of IARC (1986) groups 1, 2A and 2B carcinogens. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzene derive primarily from combustion/pyrolysis of tobacco and from tar levels. Aromatic amines depend on the presence of fertilizers with nitates and heterocyclic aromatic amines chiefly from proteins and sugar content of tobacco smoked.
Now IARC (2002)refers that involuntary smoking involves exposure to the same numerous carcinogens and toxic substances that are present in tobacco smoke poduced by active smoking, which is the principal cause of lung cancer.