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What is Secondhand Smoke?

Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and Smoke-free Homes

What is Secondhand Smoke?

Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning of tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars or pipes and the smoke exhaled by smokers. Secondhand smoke is also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and exposure to secondhand smoke is sometimes called involuntary or passive smoking. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals.

  • EPA has concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in adults who do not smoke. EPA estimates that exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in nonsmokers.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke has also been shown in a number of studies to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

See also:  Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking.



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