Preventing Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in the Home
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- How can I protect myself and family from secondhand smoke in my home?
- How can I protect myself and family from secondhand smoke outside of my home?
- Protecting your loved ones also means not using other types of commercial tobacco products, including e-cigarettes
- If you smoke cigarettes, the best decision you can make for your health and your family's health is to quit
- There are steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS).
- The best protection is to not smoke or let anyone smoke in your home or car.
- If you smoke cigarettes, the best decision you can make for your health and your family’s health is to quit.
- There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke exposure. The home is the main place many children and adults breathe in secondhand smoke.
- To protect yourself and those around you, do not smoke or let anyone smoke in your home or car, and encourage family members to quit smoking.
- Smoke from one cigarette can stay in a room for hours.1 Opening windows and using fans, air conditioners, air purifiers, air fresheners, and ventilation systems does not get rid of secondhand smoke.
- Smoking in another room like a bathroom or bedroom will not protect children and others from secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can still spread through your home. It can travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, ventilation systems, and plumbing.
- In an apartment building, secondhand smoke can go in between apartment units.
- Prohibiting all tobacco use in the home also can set a good example for young people and can protect people who do not use e-cigarettes from exposure to e-cigarette emissions. The e-cigarette aerosol that people who use e-cigarettes breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances. More information about e-cigarettes can be found on Electronic Cigarettes page.
- If your child goes to daycare or school, talk to the provider or school officials to make sure all the daycare or school facility has a tobacco-free policy. This type of policy can set a good example for young people and also can protect children from secondhand smoke and e-cigarette emissions. This includes:
- Tobacco-free school events
- Tobacco-free school policies that apply to buildings and grounds and include e-cigarettes
- If neither your state nor community have adopted laws preventing exposure to secondhand smoke in public areas, look for restaurants and other public places that do not allow smoking. “No Smoking” sections in restaurants that separate people who smoke from those who do not smoke do not protect you or your children from secondhand smoke.
- Talk to your employer about the benefits of a smokefree policy in your workplace.
- Educate others about the benefits of smokefree laws and policies in public places, workplaces, and housing.
- If you own or manage a business, adopt a smokefree policy for employees and customers. Find out why Going Smokefree Matters.
Protecting your loved ones also means not using other types of commercial tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
- The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead, among other chemicals.
- E-cigarettes are not safe for children, teens, young adults, pregnant adults, or people who do not already use tobacco.
- No e-cigarette has been approved by the FDA as a quit smoking aid. As mentioned above, there are proven tools that can help current smokers quit successfully.
If you smoke cigarettes, the best decision you can make for your health and your family's health is to quit.
- Quitting smoking can be hard, and it can take many tries. The good news is there are more proven tools than ever before to help you quit successfully, including cessation (quit smoking) medicines and coaching and counseling.
Resources to Help You Quit
- 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (Español [Spanish])
- Asian language Quitline
(Message and data rates may apply)