Law of Tiny Numbers
Forty-two times a small number is still a small number. cf. Law of Huge Numbers
Small numbers stay small
In research, you will find results such as the following:
In the first example, examining the effect of smoking outside, if 4.8μg/m³ of fine particulate matter (of any sort) in the air is not considered harmful, then 7.9μg/m³ (of which an implied 3.9μg/m³ is tobacco by-products) certainly won't be.
In the second example, using a marker which indicates among other things the presence of nicotine (not tobacco, or smoke - nicotine) a halving of cotinine between someone in the presence of SHS (or who's been eating tomatoes) and someone in an enforced environment where there is no SHS (or tomatoes) is apparently a big deal. Or, may be the fact that SHS (or potatoes) only double the background level of cotinine isn't really a big deal.
Finally in the third example,there would appear to be some sort of, one would assume minute, background level of nicotine even when there are no smokers around. When there are, this minute level is multiplied by 7-8 times to result in... a still minute level.
- Smoking increases air pollution levels in city streets: Observational and fine particulate data - Science Direct
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the US Navy and Marine Corps Tobacco Policy: an assessment of secondhand smoke exposure in US Navy submariners - Tobacco Control
- Toxic chemicals linger long after a smoker moves out - NBC