Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, and the smoke breathed out by the smoker. It contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of those chemicals are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.
Health effects of secondhand smoke include
- Ear infections in children
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks in children
- Heart disease and lung cancer in adults who have never smoked
There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Even low levels of it can be harmful. The only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is not to allow smoking indoors.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Let's Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free: Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health (Department of Health and Human Services) - PDF
- Secondhand Smoke (National Cancer Institute)
- Secondhand Smoke (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- Secondhand Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Secondhand Smoke and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Secondhand Smoke: What It Means to You (Surgeon General) - PDF
- Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and Smoke-free Homes (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF - In English and Spanish
Prevention and Risk Factors
- BeTobaccoFree.gov (Department of Health and Human Services)
- Cancer and Tobacco Use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Health Harms from Secondhand Smoke (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) - PDF
- Second Hand Smoke: Danger (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Thirdhand Smoke: What Are the Dangers to Nonsmokers? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- CDC Vital Signs: Secondhand Smoke Also in Spanish
- CDC Vital Signs: Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Reduces Vitamin D3 in the Blood Stream and Respiratory Tract (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tobacco Smoke Pollution (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Exposure to prenatal secondhand smoke and early neurodevelopment: Mothers and Children's...
- Article: Frequency of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Outside the Home Is Associated...
- Article: Biomonitoring of children exposure to urban pollution and environmental tobacco smoke...
- Secondhand Smoke -- see more articles
- How Smoking Harms Your Child (National Cancer Institute)