Rob, sorry if I came across as put out--I wasn't.
You can cross my path in Richmond at the Fireplace Inspection Research Education Service's new FIRE Technician course 2-3 April and the FIRE Certified Inspector course the next week. It's being held at the International Association of Fireplace and Chimney Inspector's training center by the Richmond Airport. You can go to www.f-i-r-e-service.com to get more info and register. The Tech course is two days and only $299, which includes and exam and certification. The 6 day inspector course includes hands-on instruction by Dale Feb personally, homework, and written and practical exams. It runs about $1,900.00 and is worth every penny.
Because you are inhaling cig. smoke almost constantly whether indoors or out, I would think it would clearly have the most deleterious effect on the body...........unless the VF is pumping out a lot of CO. The VF can cause significant water damage to a room or home, more so than nicotine stains. I would just explain the combustion byproducts, house physics and ventilation rates and let them make an educated decision.
Don't forget Rob, a lot of people are weatherizing their homes so what leaked like a sieve prior to 1974 may be as tight as a mason jar today. You can also have warm moist air entering a breach in the indoor vapor barrier such as a light switch, which allows moisture to enter the interstitial wall cavities where it comes in contact with a cool surface (stud, sheathing, etc.) reaches dewpoint and condenses. It isn't just about personal health effects---it's also about the health and long term durability of your home.
Take care buddy,
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.