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Health Risks from Secondhand Smoke 

Secondhand smoke is known to contain 4,000 chemicals, with 250 known toxins, and 11 known cancer-causing poisons.

Risks from exposure to secondhand smoke:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular (Heart) Disease
  • Lung Cancer
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Asthma: secondhand smoke is a risk factor for new cases of asthma in preschool aged children who have not already exhibited asthma symptoms. It can also trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks.
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

Risks for babies who are exposed or for babies whose mothers are exposed:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Headaches
  • Nose bleeds
  • Burning eyes and throat
  • Ear infections
  • Death

The 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report concludes there is no risk-free level for secondhand smoke. 
The only protection is to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.

Ways to reduce or eliminate secondhand smoke exposure:

  • Make your home and all vehicles smoke-free
  • Ask people not to smoke around you and your children
  • Make sure that your children’s day care center or school is smoke-free
  • Patronize restaurants and other businesses that are complying with Ohio’s Smoke-free Workplace Act
  • Teach children to stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Avoid secondhand smoke exposure especially if you or your children have respiratory conditions, if you have heart disease, or if you are pregnant
  • Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider more about the dangers of secondhand smoke

If you smoke, make a plan to quit and seek help wherever possible.