A new medical study by Otago University researchers in Wellington, New Zealand has found that cigarettes significantly increase air pollution. The study lasted five weeks and measured fine particulate matter linked to heart disease, decreased lung function and lung cancer, reports the New Zealand Herald.
Air quality tests were conducted around 284 smokers at a shopping center at an average distance of about 8.5 feet. According to the research, air quality at that distance featured 70 percent more fine particles than areas with no smokers around. The mean pollution level measured near a smoker standing at a bus stop was 16 times higher than when there were no smokers present.
''[Smoking is] adding to air pollution. People are being exposed to this all the time, as well as industry pollution and home fires," said associate professor Nick Wilson, according to the news source.
Homeowners living with a smoker or near neighbors that consume cigarettes can invest in a home air purifier to reduce the presence of harmful toxins.