Workshop shows teens that cigarettes pollute air more than cars

By Website Administrator | Mar 22, 2002

Dr. Brent Lewis, associate professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Carl Aronson, assistant professor of Chemistry at Kettering University, were recognized March 11 by the Smoke Free Multi-Agency Resource Team (SMART), for their workshop "Smoking Cars and Smoking People."

Dr. Brent Lewis, associate professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Carl Aronson, assistant professor of Chemistry at Kettering University, were recognized March 11 by the Smoke Free Multi-Agency Resource Team (SMART), for their workshop "Smoking Cars and Smoking People."

The Kettering University Environmental Chemistry professors worked with high school students from Genesee and Oakland counties to analyze automobile emissions and cigarette smoke for pollutants at a workshop in December. Test results illustrated that, for the pollutants measured, cigarette smoke contains more nitrogen oxides than car exhaust.

Dr. Aronson has been involved in research related to cigarette smoke since childhood. His father, physician Dr. Lawrence D.Aronson, was an early biochemistry researcher into the link between cigarette smoking, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and the development of emphysema in humans (see: http://www.alpha1.org/, http://www.alphaone.org/ and http://www.alphaoneregistry.org/).

"My father used to keep lab mice in the basement for his experiments,"said Aronson, "until I became allergic to the mice and he had to move the experiments out of our house." "I often traveled with him as a child to emphysema hospital wards throughout Michigan where he explained his research and helped him in the lab whenever possible."

Dr. Lewis has adapted several of his senior-level Environmental Chemistry lab experiments for workshops targeted at high school students interested in careers in chemistry. Another "Smoking Cars and Smoking People" lab will be run in April. Contact Dr. Brent Lewis at 810-762-7918 for more information.

SMART is a county-wide coalition made up of private citizens, school personnel, business people, health and human service agencies and faith-based organizations dedicated to reducing tobacco use and involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke.