Advertisement

What is secondhand smoke?

Secondhand smoke is also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). It is the combination of two forms of smoke from burning tobacco products:
  • sidestream smoke, or smoke that is given off between the puffs of a burning cigarette, pipe or cigar
  • mainstream smoke, or the smoke that is breathed out (exhaled) by the smoker
When a cigarette is smoked, about half of it is sidestream smoke. This form contains essentially all of the same cancer-causing chemicals that have been identified in mainstream smoke, but at greater levels. Researchers estimate that secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers each year.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Secondhand smoke is all the smoke you get when you, yourself, do not smoke cigarettes.  Unfortunately, the typical hour of secondhand smoke is the equivalent to you smoking about 2-1/2 cigarettes yourself.  So, secondhand smoke is both addictive to you and damages your arteries, your immune system, and a lot of other things that we can measure.

Continue Learning about Quit Smoking

Do Consumers Need to Shift Their Mindset About Being Well?
Do Consumers Need to Shift Their Mindset About Being Well?
What Healthy Lifestyle Changes Are People Most Willing to Make?
What Healthy Lifestyle Changes Are People Most Willing to Make?
Want Another Reason to Quit Smoking? Your Kids!
Want Another Reason to Quit Smoking? Your Kids!
How Can I Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss?
How Can I Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.