Secondhand Smoke Kills
There is No Safe Level of Exposure
We have known for at least 25 years, since the 1993 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Risk Assessment, that secondhand smoke is a Group A Carcinogen, known to cause cancer in humans. More recent research reveals that there are immediate health risks, including asthma and heart attacks.
Despite this information, 58 million people in U.S. remain exposed to this deadly health hazard at home, in the workplace, and in public places.
In February 2015, the CDC released a Vital Signs report that found nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke was reduced by half between 1999-2012, yet 1 in 4 nonsmokers remain exposed. The report found striking disparities between those Americans who are and who are not still breathing secondhand smoke:
- More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke
- 2 out of every 5 children (including 7 out of 10 African American children) are exposed.
Despite the tremendous progress the U.S. has made in eliminating secondhand smoke in workplaces and public places, much progress remains to be achieved in protecting everyone’s right to breathe smokefree air in the workplace and in the home.
Secondhand smoke exposure is a social justice issue since there is a higher likelihood of exposure for children, youth, young adults, racial/ethnic minorities, tenants in multi-unit housing, blue collar workers, and employees in the hospitality industry (bars, restaurants, casinos, etc.)
The ANR Foundation supports equal health protections for all nonsmokers, regardless of age, income level, employment status, or home-ownership status.
No one should have to sacrifice their health for a job or for affordable housing.
Secondhand Smoke: Worker Health
Workers are vulnerable to secondhand smoke exposure in many jobsites.