Secondhand smoke, the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers, is harmful to everyone. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and about 70 of which can cause cancer. There is no safe or risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
How Secondhand Smoke Impacts Health
Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include heart disease and lung cancer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is a contributor to pediatric asthma, a major problem among Denver’s children. Because of the frequency of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and the breadth of the resulting serious health problems, decreasing tobacco use and exposure is the single most powerful tool we have to improve health in Denver.
- Blowing smoke out a window or door does not prevent secondhand smoke exposure.
- Using a fan to blow away smoke is not a good strategy to protect kids.
- Using air freshener to cover the smell of smoke doesn't get rid of the chemicals in the air.
- Quitting is the best way to protect your kids
What can you do about secondhand smoke?
- Support smoke-free places, and avoid locations where smoking is permitted.
- Do not allow yourself or others to smoke around pregnant women, infants and children.
- Support your favorite restaurants and other public venues as they go smoke-free
- Encourage your local politicians to support legislation for smoke-free public places.