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.