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Secondhand Smoke (cont.)

Secondhand Smoke Safe Levels

All secondhand smoke is harmful. The greatest risks come with greater or more prolonged exposures, but a true safe level of exposure has not been defined. Therefore, one should avoid all exposure to secondhand smoke when possible.

Reducing Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Patient Comments

Secondhand smoke is a known contributor to premature death in both adults and children. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is the best way to protect your children, other family members, and friends from the serious health risks of passive smoking. Nonsmokers and smokers who wish to protect their families from these risks should not allow themselves or others to smoke in their homes.

In the U.S. and many other nations, governments have enacted a variety of laws designed to protect people from health dangers associated with secondhand smoke. Public interest and legislation to prevent smoking in workplaces and public buildings is on the rise as the public becomes more informed about the risks of secondhand smoke. The U.S. Surgeon General confirms that smoke-free workplaces are the only way to protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace, since steps such as having separate smoking areas, air purification, and ventilating the building have all not been proven sufficient to prevent exposure if smoking is allowed inside the building.

What is Thirdhand Smoke?

Thirdhand smoke exposure is a new concept; it refers to the deposition and accumulation of toxic agents in smoke in clothing, drapes, rugs, furniture, dust, and other items due to secondhand smoke. These toxins can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes of non-smokers, especially by infants and young children.

Medically reviewed by James E. Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease


"Secondhand smoke exposure: Effects in children"

"Secondhand smoke exposure: Effects in adults"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Secondhand Smoke:

Secondhand Smoke - Patient Experience

Have you been diagnosed with a disease related to secondhand smoke? Please describe your experience.

Secondhand Smoke - Reducing Smoke Exposure

What measures have you taken to reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke?

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