Second-Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or passive smoke.

Second-hand smoke is made up of:

  • Sidestream smoke that goes directly into the air from the end of a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe.
  • Mainstream smoke that is inhaled by the smoker first, then exhaled into the air.

Second-hand smoke contains the same 4000 chemicals that a smoker inhales through a cigarette.

According to the US Surgeon General there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

A study from Austrailia in 2010 supports the US Surgeon General’s conclusions and indicates that second-hand smoke is dangerous even in outdoor areas.

Second-hand smoke is extremely dangerous to infants and young children:

  • Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have a higher risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death.
  • Babies and children exposed to second-hand smoke have more frequent lower respiratory tract problems, such as coughs, pneumonia, bronchitis and croup.
  • Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, and they will suffer more from it than children of non-smokers who have asthma.
  • Second-hand smoke increases the number of ear infections in children

For more information on smoking diseases and second-hand smoke visit Health Canada and The US Surgeon General

Third Hand Smoke

ACT has made this simple Fact Sheet about the issues surrounding third hand smoke.