- Second-hand smoke (SHS) (also referred to as “environmental tobacco smoke” or “tobacco smoke pollution”) contains cancer-causing chemicals, and these chemicals are inhaled and absorbed by nonsmokers and smokers.
- Traces of carcinogens and other toxins are found in the blood, urine, saliva and breast milk of non-smokers, even after limited exposure to SHS.
- SHS exposure is a cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Estimates indicate that more than 300 non-smokers die each year in Canada from SHS-related lung cancer.
- SHS increases the risk of ischemic (coronary) heart disease in nonsmokers. Estimates indicate that more than 700 Canadians will die each year from coronary heart disease as a result of exposure to SHS.
- Adult non-smokers living with smokers increase their risk of heart disease by about 25%.
- SHS causes diseases of the lower respiratory tract, respiratory irritation, middle ear disease and worsened asthma in children.
- In 2006, 14% of Albertans and 15% of Canadians were exposed to SHS in their homes.
- In 2004/2005, 25% of Alberta youth in grades 5 to 9 were exposed to SHS in their home.
- A large proportion of workplaces have some form of smoking restriction.
- In 2006, most Canadians and Albertans felt that there should be some form of smoking restriction
Source: Tobacco Basics Handbook Third Edition, 2008. Alberta Health Services.
For the original document and full references, visit: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/AddictionsSubstanceAbuse/if-res-tbh-second-hand-smoke.pdf