How Does Environmental Tobacco Smoke Harm?

Secondhand smoke exposure

Secondhand smoke is a dangerous mixture of over 7,000 chemicals, including 70 that cause cancer.

Secondhand smoke causes early death and disease in both children and adults who do not smoke.

It increases risk for heart attacks, heart disease and stroke, and lung cancer.

What age group is environmental tobacco smoke especially harmful?

A US National Cancer Institute report concluded that ETS exposure is strongly associated with otitis media, especially among children younger than 2 years32).

Is tobacco smoke bad for the environment?

Tobacco growing, production, marketing and consumption are devastating our environment. Tobacco cultivation causes deforestation and over-utilizes harmful chemicals. The waste from production— much of it toxic— and disposal of packaging and cigarette butts pollute our fragile ecosystems.

What does environmental tobacco smoke contain?

These chemicals include 2-naphthylamine, N-nitrosodimethylamine, 4-aminobiphenyl, and carbon monoxide. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is composed of both mainstream and sidestream smoke. ETS is diluted by the air in the room before it is inhaled and is therefore less concentrated than mainstream or sidestream smoke.

How can we prevent environmental tobacco smoke?

Increasing tobacco-use cessation, for example, will reduce exposure to ETS. Smoking bans, effective in reducing exposure to ETS, also can reduce daily tobacco consumption for some tobacco users and help others quit entirely.