Secondhand Smoke (SHS)

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 people each year from primary and secondhand smoke exposure.  Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is the main cause of lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  It also is a cause of coronary heart disease, stroke and a host of other cancers and diseases.  Smoking is dangerous and can cause disease and death.


Costs of Tobacco Use

The costs of tobacco use are high – impacting families, employers, and our healthcare system.  In Colorado, more than 5,000 people die each year from tobacco use.  Tobacco use also contributes more than $1.8 billion in healthcare costs and more than $1.2 billion in lost productivity.

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Smoke is Smoke

There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.

Chemicals found in tobacco smoke include arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and acetone.

Secondhand smoke exposure can lead to diseases similar to those found in cigarette smokers, including heart disease and lung cancer.  That is why is critical to keep you and your family in smokefree places, indoors and out.

Secondhand Smoke and Children

Secondhand smoke (SHS) harms adults and children.  According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), secondhand smoke exposure in children can cause more frequent and severe asthma attacks, ear infections, respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia), and a greater risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Check Out More SHS Facts

Secondhand Marijuana Smoke

Learn about the dangerous chemicals in marijuana smoke.

Learn More

E-cigarettes/Vapes Secondhand Aerosol

Learn about the dangerous chemicals in the aerosol (“vapor”) from e-cigarettes.

Learn More

Take ONE Step to Protect Loved Ones from SHS Exposure

Knowing and understanding the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure will help you create safe breathing environments as well as inform parents of the risks, myths, and preventive measures regarding secondhand smoke and aerosols.

  • Smoke outside, away from windows and doors
  • Don’t allow smoking at any time or place kids will be present (home, car, etc.)
  • Teach children how to stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Role-model a tobacco and smokefree lifestyle
  • Implement a smokefree house/property policy
  • Quit smoking