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
- Health Risks of Secondhand Smoke (American Cancer Society)
- 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 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Secondhand Smoke and Cancer (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Homes (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Secondhand Smoke: What It Means to You (Surgeon General) - PDF
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 Effects of Secondhand Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Health Harms from Secondhand Smoke (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) - PDF
- Thirdhand Smoke: What Are the Dangers to Nonsmokers? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts (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: Prenatal second-hand smoke exposure and the risk of suspected developmental coordination...
- Article: The effect of fine particulate matter exposure on allergic rhinitis of...
- Article: Healthcare Professionals' Knowledge, Attitudes and Counselling Practice Regarding Prevention of Secondhand...
- Secondhand Smoke -- see more articles
- How Smoking Harms Your Child (National Cancer Institute)