Secondhand smoke is what smokers breathe out. It is also the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe. It is sometimes called environmental tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke contains many chemicals including formaldehyde, cyanide, arsenic, ammonia and carbon monoxide. Secondhand smoke has more toxins or poisons than the smoke inhaled by the smoker. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks secondhand smoke as one of the most dangerous substances known to cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to children. Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to get colds, allergies, asthma and ear infections. Babies exposed to smoke are twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
What can you do to protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke?
- Make your home and car smoke free. Ask family, friends, and baby sitters to not smoke in your home or car. Direct smokers to an open area outside.
- In California, nearly all workplaces are smoke free. If you encounter tobacco smoke at work, talk to your supervisor or call the County of Sacramento Tobacco Education Program at (916) 875-5869.
If you live in an apartment/condo/townhouse and have experienced trouble with drifting cigarette smoke, please give us a call so we can help your complex go smoke-free! Or if you own an apartment/condo/townhouse complex, let us help you adopt a smoke-free policy for your units -- it will save you a lot of money in replacement costs when smokers move out and will cut down on drifting smoke complaints!