Portable Air Sampling System

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Portable Air Sampling System (PASS) equipment was devised by engineers at RJ Reynolds Tobacco (and so suspect from the start). This device fitted into a small case which could be carried in the main compartment small-luggage racks of most transport systems, and could therefore permit (theoretically) the accurate measurement of indoor air quality (IAQ) in trains, buses, taxis, and particularly commercial aircraft, where inflight smoking had become the focus for anti-smoking activism.

  • Holcomb Environmental Services specialised in using PASS in the testing of air-quality in airports and airlines during flight. They made a fortune from the Tobacco Institute and the various cigarette companies from doing these services (where they could guarantee to find in the cigarette makers favor), Larry Holcomb and Joe Pedelty also provided 'expert witness services' for the Tobacco Institute during legislative hearings and for dozens of local ordinances, etc. They also willingly helped the industry with media briefings and one-to-one discussions with politicians.
  • IT Corp from Torrance, Calif. also used the device extensively to surreptitiously measure air quality in restaurants. They were trying to build a case that cooking fumes in the kitchens created more pollutants that the exhalation of client smokers.