secondhand smoke

Secondhand Smoke (SHS)

Secondhand smoke comes from lit cigarettes. It is also the smoke that comes out of a smokers mouth. SHS has thousands of chemicals.1 SHS can cause cancer, heart disease, and many other health problems.2 The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program works with local worksites, health care entities, outdoor recreation venues, housing authorities, and schools to create policies to help reduce the amount of SHS that Utahns breathe. Decreasing SHS exposure will improve the health of people in Utah.

Secondhand Smoke is Dangerous to Your Health

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There is no safe level of SHS exposure. Even brief exposure can be dangerous. 2
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SHS contains over 4,000 chemicals. More than 50 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. 1
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SHS can cause deadly lung cancer in people who do not smoke. 2
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Living with a smoker gives you a 20-30% higher chance of getting lung cancer. 2
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3,000 Americans die every year from lung cancer caused by breathing SHS. 2
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Being around SHS increases the risk of heart disease among non-smokers by 25-30%. 2
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46,000 Americans die each year from heart disease caused by SHS. 2
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SHS can affect nonsmokers by causing eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. 3,4

Secondhand Smoke in Utah

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More than 93% of Utahns have set rules against smoking in their homes.7,8
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98% of Utah children live in smoke-free homes but nearly 14,800 Utah children are still breathe SHS in their homes. 5,7,8
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82% of Utahns support outdoor smoking restrictions. 6


1. National Toxicology Program. 9th Report on Carcinogens, 2000. Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2000. Accessed August 2007
2 The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2006
3 EPA, Secondhand Smoke: What You Can Do About Secondhand Smoke As Parents, Decision-Makers, and Building Occupants, July 1993; Health Effects of Exposure to Environment Tobacco Smoke, California EPA report, 1997,
4 Canadian Cancer Society,,3182,3172_13127__langId-en,00.html Accessed August 2007
5 Tobacco Prevention and Control in Utah;Ninth Annual Report. August, 2009.
6. West, D.R.2007. 2007 (Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Media Campaign Evaluation Preliminary Data. Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health, TPCP.
7 Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 1989-2009. Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health. Center for Health Data. (Note: These BRFSS data may underestimate adult smoking prevalence because the samples did not include mobile phone numbers.)
8.Utah Health Care Access Survey, 2001-2008. Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health. Center for Health Data.


Secondhand Smoke