Do you have to be a smoker to be affected by tobacco smoke?
Even if you do not smoke you are affected by secondhand smoke. There is an overwhelming amount of research and data that links secondhand smoke to disease.
What is secondhand smoke?
Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is the combination of two forms of smoke from burning tobacco products: sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke. Sidestream smoke, which makes up about half of all secondhand smoke, comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Mainstream smoke is exhaled by the smoker. Exposure to secondhand smoke is also called involuntary smoking or passive smoking.
Secondhand Smoke Facts:
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get colds, allergies, asthma, and ear infections.
- Numerous studies have shown that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, causes serious respiratory problems, and aggravates the condition of people with cardiovascular disease.
- Secondhand smoke is listed as a Group A carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a rating used only for substances proven to cuase cancer in humans.
- There is no safe exposure level to secondhand smoke.