The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Secondhand Smoke
- The Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful.
- The Surgeon General has concluded that the only way to fully protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of secondhand smoke is through 100% smoke-free environments.
- Opening a window, sitting in a separate area, or using ventilation, air conditioning, or a fan cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.
- You can protect yourself and your loved ones by:
- Making your home and car smoke-free.
- Asking people not to smoke around you and your children.
- Making sure that your children’s day care center or school is smoke-free.
- Choosing restaurants and other businesses that are smoke-free. Thanking businesses for being smoke-free. Letting owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that secondhand smoke is harmful to your family’s health.
- Teaching children to stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Avoiding secondhand smoke exposure especially if you or your children have respiratory conditions, if you have heart disease, or if you are pregnant.
- Talking to your doctor or healthcare provider more about the dangers of secondhand smoke.
- If you are a smoker, the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke is to quit smoking. In the meantime, you can protect your family by making your home and vehicles smoke-free and only smoking outside. A smoke-free home rule can also help you quit smoking.
- Join the national trend. Take the Smoke-free Home Pledge by calling the toll-free Smoke-free Home Pledge Hotline at 1-866-SMOKE-FREE (1-866-766-5337) or visiting www.epa.gov/smokefree.
- To access a telephone quitline serving your area, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.smokefree.gov.
Information contained on this highlight sheet has been taken directly from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. For more information, please refer to the Resources and How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Secondhand Smoke highlight sheets. Additional highlight sheets are also available at www.cdc.gov/tobacco.
Last revised: January 4, 2007