FAQs and Facts
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Did you know?
- Two thirds of smoke from a cigarette is not inhaled by the smoker, but enters the air around the smoker.
- Second-hand smoke has at least twice the nicotine and tar as the smoke inhaled by the smoker.
- Regular exposure to second-hand smoke increases the chances of contracting lung disease by 25% and heart disease by 10%.
- Second-hand smoke aggravates symptoms in people with allergies and asthma, and can cause eye, nose and throat irritations, headaches, dizziness, nausea, coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.
- Children have a higher metabolism and can absorb higher amounts of smoke than adults.
- Infants and children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer chronic respiratory illness, impaired lung function, middle ear infections, food allergies and can even succumb to sudden infant death syndrome.
- 2.4 million Canadian homes with children under 12 years of age report regular exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Electronic air cleaning systems would need to increase the air-exchange rate a thousand fold to be effective -- resulting in gale force winds!
- Increasing ventilation will dilute the smoke in a room, but will not make it safe since there is no known safe level of exposure to the carcinogens in cigarette smoke.
- Canadians spend most of their time indoors.
Second-hand Smoke in the Workplace
Tobacco smoke is the single most significant source of indoor air pollution in work environments. Second-hand smoke - which comes off the burning end of a cigarette or is exhaled by someone who is smoking - exposes employees and customers to cancer-causing pollutants. It can also interact with other occupational hazards, further increasing the danger to health still more.
A comprehensive tobacco control strategy is an effective way to protect employees, property and revenues. It costs more to allow smoking at work, than it does to restrict it.
For more information, refer to Towards a Healthier Workplace: A Guidebook on Tobacco Control Policies.
Second-hand Smoke in Your Community
The Smoke-free Public Places: You Can Get There offers hands-on, easy-to-use resources to help municipalities and communities through the various stages of planning, implementing and evaluating non-smoking by-laws and policies in public places in your community.