Second-Hand Smoke

Second-Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke is smoke you do not choose to breathe in. It happens when you breathe in smoke that a smoker breathes out. It also happens when you breathe in smoke from a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe.

Breathing in this smoke is just like smoking – and is just as dangerous. There is no safe amount of second-hand smoke.

Many of the particles in second-hand smoke stay in the air for hours.

Some of the poisons also stick to furniture, clothing and even on people. This is called third-hand smoke.

Health effects of second-hand smoke in babies and children:

  • Ear infections
  • Asthma attacks
  • Breathing problems (such as coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath)
  • Lung infections (such as bronchitis, pneumonia)
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Low birth weight (baby born too small)

Health effects of second-hand smoke in adults:

  • Lung cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart failure, heart disease)
  • Lung infections
  • Breast cancer
  • Hearing loss
  • Dementia (memory loss)

The best way to protect people you love from second-hand smoke is to:

  • Step outside your home to smoke – at least nine big steps – before you light up.
  • Stop smoking in vehicles, and in areas around playgrounds and workplaces.
  • Do not smoke when your baby is in your amauti.
  • Clean house. Get rid of the smoky smell by sprinkling baking soda on carpets and upholstery, then vacuuming it up in the morning. Use a cup of vinegar in a bucket of warm water with two tablespoons of dish soap to wash your walls.
  • Let the house breathe. If the weather allows it, open all your doors and windows and let the house air out.
  • Load up the laundry. Wash all your clothes, blankets, and furniture covers in the washing machine. In addition to laundry soap, use a cup of white vinegar to get rid of the smoke smell.
  • Let everyone know. Tell visitors that your home is now smoke-free and to only smoke outside.