Secondhand Smoke Facts

  • Secondhand smoke is the smoke from burning tobacco products such as cigarettes or pipes.
  • Secondhand smoke is also exhaled by a smoker.
  • Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals.  About 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.
  • There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke.
  • Since 1964, over 2.5 million people have died from secondhand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke Health Effects

Although secondhand smoke exposure has decreased significantly over the past 30 years, it is still a significant problem, especially among children.

In adults:

  • Heart diseasesecondhand1
  • Lung cancer
  • Stroke

In children:

  • Ear infections
  • Asthma attacks
  • Respiratory problems and infections
  • Greater risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Differences in Secondhand Smoke Exposure

  • Secondhand smoke exposure has decreased among all racial groups, but it is still higher in Black nonsmokers (46.8%), non-Hispanic white nonsmokers (21.8%), and Mexican American nonsmokers (23.9%). Data as of 2011-2012.
  • 43.2% of nonsmokers living below the poverty level were exposed to secondhand smoke between 2011 and 2012.
  • Blue-collar workers, service workers, and construction workers are more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

How to Protect Yourself from Secondhand Smoke

  1. Quit smoking if you are not a nonsmoker.
  2. Do not allow people to smoke in or around your home.
  3. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car.
  4. Ensure your child’s school and/or daycare are tobacco-free.
  5. Choose restaurants, parks, and public places that prohibit smoking.
  6. Teach your children to avoid secondhand smoke and smoking.
  7. Be a role model for your children.  Do not use tobacco products.

Nevada Tobacco Quitline

Nevada Tobacco Quitline is a FREE phone counseling service available to smokers aged 13 or over who want to stop smoking. Your quit coach will help you make a schedule so you can quit using tobacco. Adults over 18 may qualify for FREE tobacco replacement therapy. To find out more, click here.

Tobacco Prevention Home