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Secondhand Smoke

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.

Public Health

  • 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

  • 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.

 

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Our mission is to prevent disease and injury and create environments that promote and protect the community's health.