Abstract The indoor concentration of suspended particulate matter (SPM) was measured in forty-four retrofitted and tight dwellings, which had electric cooking and were central heated and where the basic ventilation rate in median amounted 0.23 air changes per hour as measured with a tracer dilution method. The indoor concentration of SPM was in median 230 μg/m 3 with a strong correlation to the tobacco consumption ( r s =0.716), but with no correlation to the frequency of airing or the basic ventilation rate. Tobacco smoking seems to be the main indoor source of SPM in contemporary dwellings. The importance of these findings is underlined by epidemiologic studies on passive smoking and health. Air quality standards for the ambient air are based on certain risk groups such as infants, children, persons with chronic obstructive lung disorders, and indoor air standards should be based on the same concepts of health protection.