Effects of secondhand smoke
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Effects of Secondhand Smoke. Pat McKone, Director American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. We’ve come a long way since,…. What is Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) ..Secondhand smoke?. Indoor Air Pollution 90% of time spent indoors. Surgeon General Report. What’s in Tobacco Smoke?.

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Effects of Secondhand Smoke

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Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Pat McKone, Director

American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest

We’ve come a long way since,…

What is Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) ..Secondhand smoke?

Indoor Air Pollution90% of time spent indoors

Surgeon General Report

What’s in Tobacco Smoke?

  • Particulates

  • carbon monoxide

  • nicotine

  • benzene

  • nitrosamines

  • polycyclic hydrocarbons

  • 3,000 - 4,000 others

It’s a serious danger to health

  • Secondhand smoke is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

    • Mokdad, AH et al. “Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000.”JAMA. 2004; 291: 1238-1245.

  • Secondhand smoke causes at least 38,000 deaths annually in U.S.

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses.” MMWR. 2005; 54: 625-628

  • Hundreds of studies have documented secondhand smoke as a cause of serious health problems.

U.S. Surgeon General’s 2006 Report Conclusions

No Risk Free Level of Exposure

Tobacco Smoke

  • The concentration of some chemicals in side-stream smoke is 10 x greater than in main-stream smoke


Health Effects on Children

  • Fetal growth retardation

  • SIDS

  • Respiratory problems in children

  • Asthma in children

  • Eye and nasal irritation

  • Middle ear infections in children

  • Lung cancer

  • Nasal sinus cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Mortality due to heart disease

    (1997 Comprehensive Study by Cal EPA)

Other Health Effects

  • Pre-term delivery

  • Asthma induction in adults

  • Breast cancer in younger (primarily pre-menopausal) women

  • Acute and chronic heart disease

  • Altered vascular properties

  • About 49,000 deaths (not including breast cancer)

    (2005 Report Expanded Impacts)

Effects on the Heart

  • Interferes with normal functioning of the heart, blood and vascular systems

  • Increases “stickiness” of platelets even with brief exposures

  • Damages the lining of blood vessels

Lung Cancer

  • All major health authorities agree that secondhand smoke causes cancer:

    • U.S. Surgeon General linked SHS to lung cancer.

      • U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking: AReport of the Surgeon General. 1986; p. 7

    • Classified as a Group A carcinogen by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meaning it is known to cause cancer in humans.

      • U.S. EPA, Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. 1992; p. 5-68

Lung Cancer


  • According to ASHRAE, the organization that establishes industry standards for ventilation:

    • The only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure to SHS is to ban smoking activity.

    • Engineering approaches, such as ventilation and air cleaning, cannot be relied on to control the health risks associated with SHS exposure.

      • Samet, J et al. “ASHRAE position document on environmental tobacco smoke.” 2005.

Thirdhand smoke

  • Residual chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces

  • The science is still emerging

What can we do?

  • Only Smoke-free policies fully protect

  • NO SMOKING sections do not protect

  • Cleaning the air or ventilating buildings does not fully protect non-smokers

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