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Indoor Air


Secondhand Smoke comes from lit cigarettes and cigars. It also comes from smoke breathed out by smokers. When children breathe secondhand smoke, it is like they are smoking, too. Secondhand smoke is made of thousands of chemicals. Many are poisons that stay in your body.

Exposure to secondhand smoke contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. (

Clean Indoor Air and Hospitality Workers

According to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), "Although the proportion of workers who smoke tobacco or who are exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace has declined over the past several decades, many workers remain susceptible to the harms of tobacco smoking.

The percentage of workers who smoke cigarettes varies by industry and occupation. The highest percentages of workers who smoke are in mining (30%), accommodation and food services (30%), and construction (29.7%) industries.  Similarly, smokeless tobacco use is relatively frequent among workers in the mining (18.8%), wholesale trade (8.9%), and construction (7.9%) industries.

The use of emerging tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes, has increased in recent years. Despite the increased use of e-cigarettes and marketing of these products, little is known about long term health effects. In 2014, an estimated 5.5 million working adults were current e-cigarette users. Many states have laws to prohibit smoking and tobacco use in the workplace. Employers can also enact policies that restrict smoking and tobacco use in the workplace. NIOSH provides recommendations and resources that protect workers from the hazards of using tobacco, that help employers prevent workplace exposures to secondhand smoke, and that promote the overall well-being of workers.

Secondhand Smoke and Your Pet

Pets in a smoker's home are affected by their owners tobacco use. Visit the VCA site for more information. The FDA website also has information on the effects secondhand and thirdhand smokeon your pets.Living in a house with a smoker puts dogs, cats, and especially birds at greater risk of many health problems. Dogs exposed to second-hand smoke have more eye infections, allergies, and respiratory issues including lung cancer. ... Long nosed dogs are prone to nasal cancer while short nosed dogs often get lung cancer.

Thirdhand Smoke

According to the Mayo Clinic: Thirdhand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. People are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix including cancer causing compounds, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers — especially children.

Thirdhand smoke clings to clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces long after smoking has stopped. The residue from thirdhand smoke builds up on surfaces over time. To remove the residue, hard surfaces, fabrics and upholstery need to be regularly cleaned or laundered. Thirdhand smoke can't be eliminated by airing out rooms, opening windows, using fans or air conditioners, or confining smoking to only certain areas of a home.

Children and nonsmoking adults might be at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they inhale, swallow or touch substances containing thirdhand smoke. Infants and young children might have increased exposure to thirdhand smoke due to their tendency to mouth objects and touch affected surfaces.