Health Effects of Secondhand smoke
- According to the U.S. Surgeon General, "there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke... even occasional exposure to secondhand smoke - is harmful."
- Secondhand smoke causes an estimated 50,000 deaths each year [in United States] mostly from lunch cancer and coronary heart disease
- Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for people who must spend 8 hours a day or more exposed at work. That is why the ALA is dedicated to eliminating smoking in all public places and workplaces
- Secondhand smoke can cause or exacerbate a wide range of adverse health effects, including lung cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma
- Short-term exposure to secondhand smoke can potentially increase the risk of heart attacks
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
- Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic
- Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 deaths from lung cancer and 22,700 to 69,600 deaths from heart disease each year
- Sidestream smoke - smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than smoke exhaled by the smoker
- Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer
Secondhand smoke and children
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma.
- Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children 18 months of age
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations
- Causes an estimate of 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) death in the U.S. annually
- Secondhand smoke cal aggravate symptoms in 400,000 to 1 million children with asthma
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke are much more likely to be put into intensive care when they have the flue, they are in the hospital longer and are more likely to need breathing tubes than kids who aren't exposed to secondhand smoke