The Facts About Secondhand Smoke
- Smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes contains 4,000 different chemicals, including several that cause cancer and heart disease.
- Every year, an estimated 550 nonsmokers in Mississippi die from exposure to secondhand smoke, too.
- Secondhand smoke is classified as a Group A carcinogen by the U.S. EPA. This means it has been shown to cause cancer in people.
- There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful and has immediate effects.
- Separating smokers from nonsmokers or using air filtration and ventilation equipment does not eliminate the health risks.
- Infants and young children are more vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke because their bodies are developing rapidly and they breathe at a faster rate than adults.
- Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy and infancy doubles the risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Secondhand smoke aggravates asthma attacks. An estimated 68,000 children in Mississippi have asthma.
- Secondhand smoke increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.