Mississippi State Department of Health

Secondhand Smoke and Health


Every year, hundreds of non-smoking Mississippians die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Abundant evidence has demonstrated the danger of secondhand smoke, but it continues to be a significant public health hazard.

Secondhand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer and other serious health problems. Children are especially vulnerable to its risks.

Scientific Evidence

The Surgeon General's Report on tobacco smoke exposure examined the latest available evidence on tobacco smoke and the ways it damages the human body for smokers and non-smokers. It concludes that:

Secondhand Smoke and You

E-cigarette aerosol or vapor contains harmful substances, including heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals, nicotine, and diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand Smoke and Children

Young children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke. Because they breathe more rapidly than adults and are still developing physically, secondhand smoke has a greater impact on their health.

In children, secondhand smoke exposure causes:

Secondhand smoke spreads quickly throughout an entire house or building. Using fans or smoking by a window will not keep children safe.

Keeping Children Safe

In the Workplace

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, and many of them are known to cause cancer and other serious diseases. Many workplaces, especially restaurants and bars, have conditions that expose employees to smoke-contaminated air for prolonged periods of time.

Further Information and Resources

Data and Reports

Links referenced
Mississippi Tobacco Data    http://mstobaccodata.org/
2010 Surgeon General's Report: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease    https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/secondhand-smoke-consumer.pdf
Secondhand Smoke    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/secondhand_smoke/
About Electronic Cigarettes    https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/about-e-cigarettes.html

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