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Secondhand Smoke

Also called: Environmental tobacco smoke, Passive smoking, Tobacco smoke pollution

Summary

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

Start Here

  • (Department of Health and Human Services) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF - In English and Spanish

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Department of Health and Human Services)

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Health Check Tools

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch) Also in

Statistics and Research

  • Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Women

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Patient Handouts

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