What You Can Do About Secondhand Smoke
   As Parents, Jil|Decisionmakers,
Building Occupants

United States
Environmental Protection
Washington, DC 20460
July 1993
402-F-93-004 &
Air and Radiation (6203J)
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300
       Printed on paper lhal contains
       at least 50% recycled fiber

 • Secondhand smoke is a
 mixture of the smoke given off
 by^fhejjurning end of a
 ^jgarette^pipe or cigar and
 "" ismoj^,eaialedfrom the
   * ^ Smokers
            re/xmtains more
 -that 4tOtXrsabsiances more
     ;40"gf which are known, to
 anunals andmanyofwhicji ate
 strong irntaats
 • Secondhand smokfijislilso
 called environmental tobacco
 smoke (ETS)  exposure to
 secondhand smoke is called
 involuntary smoking, 'or
 passive smoking.
 mm CANCER in
     • The developing lungs of
     young children are also
     affected by exposure to
     secondhand smoke'.
     • Infants and young children
     whose parents smoke are
^%jF among the most seriously
   ^ affected by exposure to
              !j|poke being at  ...
              ikof lower     .•'•
         Ifoiy tract infections  ''S'-i-:
        =•&             ,    ;.'•"'•-'
           |is EPA estimates that.';
        |ve $tnokmg is responsible-
        |e|weenl50000and   '  . ;
          ) lowef respiratory tract
                                 ear, the most common cause
                                 of hospitalization of children
                                 for an operation.
                                 • Asthmatic children are
                                 especially at risk  EPA
                                 estimates that exposure to
                                 secondhand smoke .increases
                                 the number of episodes and  .
                                 severity of symptoms'in
                                 hundreds of thousands of
                                 asthmatic children. EPA
                                 estimates thatbetfteai.,- v-f-", ..;
                                 smoke:' Passive smoking may
                                 also cause thousands of rion-
                                 . asthmatic children to develop
                                 . the cpnditibn.eadvyear.
 • Secondhand smoke has
 been classified by the U.S. .
 Environmental Protection
 Agency (EPA) as a known
 cause of lung cancer in
 humans (Group A carcino-
 • Passive smoking is esti-
 mated by EPA to cause
 approximately 3,000 lung
 cancer deaths in nonsmokers
 each year.
between 7;50b1tal45,000-
hospitalbatioris eaclt-year./.
• Children exposed t6';v;-v  •
secondhcind smoke are.alsii'
more likely to have reduced
lung.function and symptoms of
respiratory irritation like *  •
cough, access phlegm, and
* Passive smoking can lead to
a buildup of fluid in the middle
                                      « Exposure to secondhand
                                      smoke causes irritation of the
                                      eye, nose, and throat
                                      '•. Passive smoking can also
                                      irritite; the lungs, leading to
                                      cotighuig, excess phlegm,
                                      . chest discomfort and reduced
                                      lung function,
                                      • Secondhand smoke may ,
                                      affect the .cardiovascular'.   •' •
                                      system, and some, studies have
                                      linked exposure to second-
                                      hand smoke with the onset of
                                      chest pain.
 For Kiore IH!orneafion
 U.S. Environmental  •
 Protection Agency
 Indoor Air Quality
 Information Clearinghouse
 P.O. Box 37133
 Washington, DC 20013-7133
 Office on Smoking and
• Health/Centers for Disease
 Control and Prevention
 Mail Stop K-50
 4770 Buford Highway, NJB.
• Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
 National Cancer Institute
 Building 31, Room 10A24
 9000 Rockville Pike
 Bethesda, MD 20892
 National Heart, Lung, and
 Blood Institute
 Information Center
 P.O. Box 30105
 Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
 National Institute
 for Occupational Safety
 and Health
 4676 Columbia Parkway
 Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998

  « Don't smoke in your house or
  permit others to do so.
  « If a family member insists on
  smoking indoors, increase
  ventilation in the area where
  smoking takes place. Open
  windows or use exhaust fens.
  • Do not smoke if children are
  present, particularly infants and
  toddlers. They are particularly
  susceptible to the effects of
  passive smoking.
  • Don't allow baby-sitters or
  others who work in your home to
  smoke in the house or near your

  EPA recommends that every
  organization dealing with
'  children have a smoking policy
  that effectively protects children
  from exposure to environmental
  tobacco smoke.
  • Find out about the smoking
  policies of the day care provid-
  ers, pre-schools, schools, and
  other care-givers for your
  • Help other parents understand
  the serious health risks to
  children from secondhand
  smoke.  Work with parent/
  teacher associations, your school
  board and school administrators,
community leaders, and other
concerned citizens to make your
cliild's environment smoke free.

EPA recommends that every
company have a fhioMng policy
that effectively protects non-
smokers from involuntary
ejcposure to tobacco smoke.
Many businesses and organiza-
Sons already have smoking
policies in place but these poli-
cies vary in their effectiveness.
• If your company does not have
a smoking policy that effectively
controls secondhand smoke,
work with appropriate manage-
ment and labor organizations to
establish one.
0 Simply separating smokers and
nonsmokers within the same
area, such as a cafeteria, may
reduce exposure, but nonsmok-
eis will still be exposed to
recirculated smoke or smoke
diifting into nonsmoking areas.
•  Prohibiting smoking indoors
or limiting smoking to rooms that
have been specially designed to
ptevent smoke from escaping to
other areas of the building are
the two options that will effec-
tively protect nonsmokers.
The costs associated with
establishing properly designed
smoking rooms vary from
building to building, and are '
.likely to be greater than simply
eliminating smoking entirely.
• If smoking is permitted
indoors, ft "Should be in a room
that meets several conditions:
  • Air from the smoking room
should be directly exhausted to
the outside by an exhaust fan.
Air from the smoking room
should not be recirculated to
other parts of the building. More
air should be exhausted from the
room than is supplied to it to _
make sure ETS doesn't drift to
surrounding spaces..
  • The ventilation system
should provide the smoking
room with 60 cubic feet per
minute (CFM)  of supply air per
smoker. This air is often
supplied by air transferred from
 other parts of the building, sucl
 as corridors.
   • Nonsmokers should not ha1
 to use the smoking room for an
 purpose. It should be located ii
 a non-work area where no one,
 as part of Ms or her work respo
 sibilities, is required to enter.
 • Employer-supported smokinj
 cessation programs are an
 important part of any smoking
 policy. Approximately 25 per-
 cent of American adults still
 smoke.   Many smokers would
 like to quit, but cigarette smok-
 ing is physically and psychologi
 cally addictive, and quitting is n
 easy. While working in a smok
 free building may encourage
 some smokers to quit, a goal of
 any smoking policy should be
. to actively support smokers
 who want to kick the habit
 ••If there are designated outdoi
 smoking areas, smoking shoulc
 not be permitted right outside

                                                                           What You Can  Do to  Reduce the
                                                                           Health Risks  of  Passive Smoking
    the doors (or near building
    ventilation system air intakes)
    where nonsmokers may have to
    pass through smoke from
    smokers congregated near
    doorways. Some employers have
    set up outdoor areas equipped
    with shelters and ashtrays to
    accommodate smokers.

i2 • Know the law concerning
«sc smoking in your community.
00 Some communities have banned
^, smoking in places such as
-=* restaurants entirely.  Others
J^ require separate smoking areas
•z. in restaurants, although most
"^ rely on simply separating
= smokers and nonsmokers within
I— the same space, which may
u-i reduce but not eliminate
°^ involuntary exposure to FJS.
EE  • K smoking is permitted,
.....  placement of smoking areas,„.„„.
            V  k   i
 should be determined with some
 knowledge of the ventilation
 characteristics of the space to
 minimize mmsmoker exposure.
 For example, nonsmoking areas
 should be near air supply ducts
 while smoking areas should
 he near return registers or
 • Ask to be seated in nonsmok-
 ing areas as far from smokers as
 • If your community does not
 have a smoking control ordi-
 nance, urge that one be enacted.
 If your local ordinances are not
 sufficiently protective, urge your
 local government officials to
 take action,
  • Few restrictions have been
 imposed in bars where drinking
 and smoking seem to go
,  together. In the absence of state
  or local laws restricting smoking
  in bars, encourage the proprietor
  to consider his or her nonsmok-
  ing clientele, and frequent places
  that do so.            ,  ,
have laws addressing smoking in
public spaces? Many states have
laws prohibiting smoking in
public facilities such as schools,
hospitals, airports, bus terminals,
and other public buildings.
Know the law. Take advantage of
laws designed to protect you.
Federal laws now prohibit
smoking on all airline'flights of
six hours or less within the U.S.
and on all interstate bus travel.
 for Smokers
 This iso difficult time to be a
 smoker.  As the public becomes
 more aware that smoking is not
 only a hazard to you but also to
 others, nonsmokers are becoming
 more outspoken, and smokers are
 finding themselves a beleaguered
   If you choose to smoke, here are
 some things you can do to help
 protect the people close to you:
 • Don't smoke around children.
 Their lungs are very susceptible to
 smoke.  If you are expecting a child,
 quit smoking.
• Take an active role in the
development of your company's
smoking policy. Encourage the
offering of smoking cessation
programs for those who want them.
• Keep your home smoke free.
Nonsmokers can get lung cancer
from exposure to your smoke.
Because smoke lingers in the air,
people may be exposed even if they
are not present while you smoke. If
you must smoke inside, limit
smoking to a room where you can
open windows for cross-ventilation.
Be sure the room in which you
smoke has a working smoke
detector to lessen the risk of fire.
« Test your home for radon. Radon
contamination in combination with
smoking is a much greater health
risk than either one individually.
• Don't smoke in an automobile
with the windows dosed if  passen-
 gers are present. The high concen-
" tratibn of smoke in a small, closed
 compartment substantially increases
 the exposure of other passengers.
   More than two million people quit
 smoking every year, most of them
 on their own, without the aid of a
 program or medication. If you
 want to quit smoking, assistance
 is available. Smoking cessation
 programs can help. Your employer
 may offer programs, or ask your
 doctor for advice.