Steps to Eliminating Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Public Places and Worksites
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke from the burning end of combustible tobacco products and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke exposure can also cause heart attacks, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, secondhand smoke is dangerous to the health of children; it can cause ear infections, respiratory problems and sudden infant death syndrome. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
Secondhand aerosol from electronic smoking devices is not harmless water vapor. The aerosol created by e-cigarettes can contain ingredients that are harmful and potentially harmful to the public’s health, including nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings; volatile organic compounds; and heavy metals.
Individuals, organizations and communities can take steps to protect themselves, employees and community members from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Steps to Eliminating Secondhand Smoke
Everyone has the right to breathe clean air. Become familiar with the fundamentals of smokefree air policy. Educate yourself on the science of secondhand smoke. Do your research. Know the current policies on the books in your community and in your states. If your community does not have a strong smokefree policy in place, the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program (GTUPP) can help you get started on a local smokefree campaign.
The Americans for Non-Smoker’s Rights Foundation has created a guide entitled, “Going Smokefree In Your Community” that will tell you how to get started, what to expect during the campaign, after the campaign, and finally, tips on implementing your new smokefree policy.