PHMDC Logo
Tobacco Free Columbia Dane County

SecondHand SmokE EDUCATION

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals—including 250 that are toxic and about 70 that are known to cause cancer.

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is known to cause several health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In nonsmoking adults, secondhand smoke exposure can cause lung cancer, heart disease, and bronchitis. It has been estimated that about 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 42,000 heart disease deaths can be attributed to secondhand smoke.

CITATION: American Cancer Society. Tobacco and Cancer: Secondhand Smoke. Atlanta, GA. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke.