Keeping the community healthy

Second-hand smoke

  • Second-hand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke and passive smoke) is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette or other tobacco products (side stream smoke) and smoke exhaled by a smoker (mainstream smoke).
  • Every time that you, your partner or family members smoke around your boorais, they are smoking too.
  • Second-hand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in boorais and adults who do not smoke.
  • Boorais exposed to second-hand smoke are at an increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), asthma, middle ear disease, acute respiratory infections, behavioural and learning problems, and poor lung development.
  • Adult exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate and adverse effects on their cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Second-hand smoke can also exacerbate the effects of other illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis .
  • Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings can eliminate the exposure of non-smokers to second hand smoke
  • Exposing ex-smokers to other people’s tobacco smoke increases the chance of relapsing to smoking
  • There are no safe levels of second -hand smoke.

Third hand smoke

  • Third-hand smoke refers to the residual nicotine and other chemicals left on the surface of objects after the second-hand smoke has cleared.
  • Third hand smoke reacts with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix that contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health risk to those who are exposed to it.
  • Third-hand smoke is thought to potentially cause the greatest harm to infants and young children, as younger children are more likely to crawl on the floor, lie on couches and eat from their hands without washing them first, ingesting the toxins into their system.
  • Third-hand smoke residue builds up on surfaces over time, resists normal cleaning and cannot be eliminated by airing out rooms, opening window using fans or air conditioners, or confining smoking to only certain areas of a home
  • Third-hand smoke stays on hair, skin, clothes, furniture, curtains, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces, long after smoking has stopped.

Things you can do to protect yourself and your family from second and third hand smoke

  • Move away from people who are smoking if you are pregnant
  • Keep boorais away from people who are smoking
  • Don’t smoke or allow other people to smoke inside your house or car
  • Make a family plan with clear rules about smoking
  • Have designated smoking areas outside and away from the house
  • Put up smoke free signs around your house and in your car
  • Wash your hands frequently especially if you have contact with smokers
  • Clean surfaces that come into contact with poisons from tobacco smoke including clothes, curtains, carpets, furniture, walls and ceilings.