5 Facts About Secondhand Smoke

Think smoking only harms smokers? Think again.

Smokers don’t just put themselves at risk. They also put others at risk by spreading secondhand smoke. If you’re unfamiliar with the risks of secondhand smoke, take in these five surprising facts. If you or a loved one smokes, get help quitting today.

Secondhand smoke kills. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in nonsmokers. Lung cancer is not the only cause of death that secondhand smoke contributes to.

Secondhand smoke causes asthma in kids. The EPA also reports that secondhand smoke can cause asthma in kids who had not previously shown symptoms. Asthma and other respiratory issues can cause serious harm to children.

Secondhand smoke causes heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart attack. An estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths occur each year in adult nonsmokers.

Secondhand smoke contains harmful chemicals. The National Cancer Institute reports that of the over 7,000 chemicals in secondhand tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful. These include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and ammonia.

Secondhand smoke affects millions of Americans. The CDC estimates that over 88 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008. There is no such thing as a safe level. Secondhand smoke immediately begins affecting nonsmokers.

Talk to your doctor about how you can quit smoking today. To learn more about LiveFree! and our mission to reduce youth substance abuse, visit our website.

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