What is secondhand smoke?
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Secondhand smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by the person who is smoking as well as the smoke that comes off the cigarette, cigar, or pipe itself. This smoke contains thousands of chemicals which is dangerous to a person’s health. So, even if someone chooses not to smoke, but are around smokers, they can still experience negative health outcomes.
Breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:
- Respiratory infections (like pneumonia)
- Asthma symptoms
- Coughing, sore throats, and cold-like symptoms
- Cancers (especially of the throat and lungs)
- Heart disease
The dangers of secondhand smoke are greater when you’re around it more often, such as living in the same house as someone who smokes. To keep others safer, a smoker should only smoke outside and should never smoke in a car with other people.
Smoking laws which prohibit smoking in public places (e.g., restaurants, bars), workplaces, and recreation facilities exist to keep other people safe from these dangers.