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

Public Housing is Now Smoke-Free

Federal law now requires low-income, conventional public housing to be free of tobacco products that produce smoke (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, offices and outdoor areas within 25 feet of the building. If you live or work in public housing, your health is now better protected, by law, against the health risks of secondhand smoke.

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 on this page
Read the entire Surgeon General's report    https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/secondhand-smoke-consumer.pdf
More about this law    https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/partners/hud/index.html
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
Smoke-free Ordinances in Mississippi Predict Lower Admission Rates for Acute Cardiovascular, Stroke, and Pulmonary Events (2018)    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/13629.pdf

Resources referenced
Smoke-free Ordinances in Mississippi Predict Lower Admission Rates for Acute Cardiovascular, Stroke, and Pulmonary Events (2018)    https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/13629.pdf ok

Find this page at https://msdh.ms.gov/page/43,0,94,611.html

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