Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
Share
Compartir

Vital Signs: Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke—United States, 1999–2008

September 10, 2010 / Vol. 59 / No. 35


MMWR Highlights

Levels of secondhand smoke exposure have fallen substantially over the last 20 years in the United States.

  • During the years 1988–1991, approximately 88% of nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • By 1999–2000, that number dropped significantly to 52.5%.
  • During 2007–2008, an estimated 40.1% of nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke.

Despite the dangers of secondhand smoke, 40% of nonsmokers in the United States (or 88 million people) were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.

  • An estimated 53.6% of young children (aged 3–11 years) were exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • About 46.5% of youth (aged 12–19 years) were exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • About 55.9% of black, non-Hispanic nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke, compared with 40.1% of white, non-Hispanic nonsmokers and 28.5% of Mexican-American nonsmokers.

No risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure exists, and more needs to be done to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in the United States.

  • Workplaces and homes are the most important sources of secondhand smoke exposure.
  • The only way to fully protect nonsmokers is to eliminate smoking in indoor spaces.
  • Continued efforts to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in all settings are needed to ensure that all nonsmokers are protected from this hazard.
  • Health care providers have an important role to play in educating patients and parents about the dangers of secondhand smoke and in helping smokers quit.

 
You Can Quit. Learn more.
CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money. Learn More About How CDC Works For You…
Contact Us:
  • CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
    4770 Buford Highway
    MS F-79
    Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO