Secondhand smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals that are dangerous to your health. There is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke. Even Occasional exposure can harm you.
Did you know that when you are around someone who is smoking, you are probably breathing in smoke? This is known as ‘second hand smoking.
Second hand smoke is sometimes called ‘passive smoke’ or ‘environmental tobacco smoke’ but all the terms refer to the smoke which escapes from the burning end of a cigarette and also from the smoker’s mouth when they breathe out.
When they are around someone who is smoking, the amount of smoke a non-smoker breathes in depends on how close they are to the smoker(s), the size of the room, the number of smokers in the room and the number of cigarettes smoked. Opening a window does not protect you from smoke. Using ventilation, air conditioning, or a fan does not will not get rid of second hand smoke.
Exposure to second hand smoke can cause:
- Smelly clothes and hair
- Sore and/or watery eyes
- Sneezing and coughing
- Sore throat
- Breathing and respiratory problems such as pneumonia and bronchitis
- Slower lung growth and decreased lung function
- Increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease
- Asthmatics to experience wheezing and chest tightening
- Ear infections
Breathing in secondhand smoke can make you sick. Some of the diseases that secondhand smoke cause can kill you.
What can you do about it?
- You have the right to clean air, so politely ask those who smoke to not smoke when they are near you.
- If they don't stop smoking, then move away yourself.
- Remind anyone you know who smokes that smoking is not only bad for them, but harms other people to.
Make your environment smoke free
- Make your house smoke free. Put up a no smoking sign to let visitors know it’s a smoke free zone.
- Make your car smoke free. The law in Tasmania requires cars with young people to be smoke free.
Tasmania has laws that ban smoking in workplaces, some public places and events, restaurants, bars and cars with children inside. However, there are some children and adults that still breathe in second hand smoke in their homes and some public places.
Smoke Free Generation – Be a part of it! is a collaboration of service providers who want to protect young Tasmanians from the harmful effect of tobacco use.