Get the Facts
The evidence is clear - inhaling smoke from other people's tobacco can lead to disease and premature death in nonsmokers. That's why Santa Clara County is serious about reducing secondhand smoke exposure.
Home & Workplace
- Non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk for heart disease and lung cancer by 20-30%
- Secondhand smoke causes 3,600 heart disease deaths and 400 cancer deaths each year in California non-smokers.
- Most exposure to secondhand smoke occurs in homes and workplaces.
- One in seven California workers report begin exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
- Air ventilation systems do no provide adequate protection because they do not remove the smaller particles or gases in secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke is defined as the mixture of gases and fine particles from the tip of a burning cigarette (cigar or pipe) and smoke that has been exhaled by a smoker.
- Tobacco smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals including more than 50 that can cause cancer.
- The US Surgeon General has concluded that "There is no risk-level of exposure to secondhand smoke."
Children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke because they are still developing physically and tend to have higher breathing rates - and, in turn, higher quantities of smoke entering their bodies.
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. children suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma attacks and ear infections each year as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.
Youth exposed to secondhand smoke at home are one and a half to two times more likely to start smoking than those not exposed.