Secondhand smoke exposure kills approximately 45,000 Americans each year – 400 of them babies. Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung and other cancers, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Secondhand smoke is also smoke that is exhaled by a person that is smoking. This smoke contains over 700 chemicals, including nearly 70 that cause cancer.
Thirdhand smoke is tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette has been extinguished. The cocktail of toxins lingers in carpets, sofas, clothes and other materials hours or even days after a cigarette is put out—is a health hazard for infants and children.
“Now, our air is clean, our building smells better and as an added bonus, there aren’t nicotine stains, cigarette burns and other smoking-related damage in our unites“ – Joel Torberg, At Home Property Apartments of St. Cloud.
Secondhand Smoke Fast Facts:
- Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including nearly 70 known to cause cancer.
- 282,000 Minnesota kids are exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke at home.
- Almost 50% of MN adults report being exposed to secondhand smoke during the past week
- Secondhand smoke is a known cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), potentially fatal respiratory infections, frequent and severe asthma attacks, and ear infections.
- Children are particularly susceptible to the risks of secondhand and thirdhand smoke, as their bodies are still developing.
- More than 40% of children who visit the emergency room for asthma live with smokers.
- No level of secondhand smoke exposure is safe.
Learn about what we’re doing to reduce Minnesotans’ exposure to secondhand smokeLearn more