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Smoking increases pollution: study

Updated: 2012-07-09 21:01
( Xinhua)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Smoking on city streets significantly increases the amount of dangerous fine particulates in the air, according to new research released on Monday.

A five-week study by the University of Otago in Wellington tested air quality around 284 smokers at the Lower Hutt shopping center.

Testing air an average of 2.6 meters from smokers they recorded 70 percent more fine particulates than when there were no smokers around.

The mean pollution level when stood next to a smoker at a bus stop was 16 times that when there was no smoker present.

Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer.

The findings come as Auckland Council considers a smoking ban in public places.

And one of the researchers, Dr George Thomson, said a growing number of cities are adopting smokefree policies for at least some outdoor parts of shopping areas.

These cities include Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and many in California and Japan.