Secondhand Smoke is Toxic, Protect Your Family

Do you know how to protect your family from toxic secondhand smoke and vape?

Find the right resources for you to protect your family against this toxic home invader.

  1. Do you rent, own, or are you a landlord?
    1. Own
      1. Does your home share a wall, floor, or ceiling with another home?
        1. Yes
          1. Do you have a homeowner's association that manages your property?
            1. Yes
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your neighbor or Home Owners Association (HOA) about going smoke-free to protect your family.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
            2. No
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your neighbor or Home Owners Association (HOA) about going smoke-free to protect your family.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
        2. No
          1. Do you have a homeowner's association that manages your property?
            1. Yes
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your neighbor or Home Owners Association (HOA) about going smoke-free to protect your family.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
            2. No
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your neighbor or Home Owners Association (HOA) about going smoke-free to protect your family.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
    2. Rent
      1. Does your home share a wall, floor, or ceiling with another home?
        1. Yes
          1. Do you have a property manager or owner you can discuss smoking issues with?
            1. Yes
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your property manager about going smoke-free.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
            2. No
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your property manager about going smoke-free.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
        2. No
          1. Do you have a property manager or owner you can discuss smoking issues with?
            1. Yes
              1. Exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your property manager about going smoke-free.

                Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
            2. No
              1. Is there a homeowner's association that manages the property you rent?
                1. Yes
                  1. Exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                    Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your property manager about going smoke-free.

                    Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                    For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                    Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
                2. No
                  1. Exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind is dangerous. But, you CAN protect yourself and your family from toxic secondhand smoke.

                    Download a free toolkit to help you talk to your property manager about going smoke-free.

                    Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

                    For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

                    Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.
    3. Landlord
      1. As a landlord or manager you have the right to make your properties 100% smoke-free. Adopting a smoke-free policy will save you time and money when preparing a unit for a new tenant.

        Download the free toolkit for more information on how to adopt a smoke-free policy at your property.

        Download Secondhand Smoke Toolkit

        For more resources, contact your local Health Department.

        Disclaimer: The legal information provided in these documents does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.

The research on cigarette secondhand smoke is overwhelming – with over 7,000 chemicals, at least 70 of which are cancer-causing, even brief exposure is dangerous.1 And now, there’s a new danger from the harmful aerosol produced by e-cigarettes. Secondhand smoke and aerosol is both what users exhale, and what comes out of the end of a cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, or cigarillo. The smoke and aerosol can stay in the air and can be involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers.

Toxic e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful chemicals including nicotine; fine and ultra-fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. 2

The U.S. Surgeon General says there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. This means that millions may be exposed to secondhand smoke and aerosol even if they do not allow smoking or vaping in their unit.3 And while many Californians have made the choice to not allow smoking inside their homes, many living in apartments and condominiums are still exposed to drifting toxic secondhand smoke.

1/3 of Californians live in multi-unit housing, like apartments and condos, and may be exposed to drifting toxic secondhand smoke.

Smoke from a neighboring apartment or condo can enter through:

  • Ventilation systems
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Floorboards
  • Light fixtures
  • Drains
  • Windows

In fact, toxic secondhand smoke exposure can cause asthma in children who have previously not had any symptoms3.  Other health effects on children from secondhand smoke exposure4 include:

  • Low birth weight and lung problems in infants
  • Acute lower respiratory tract infections (bronchitis and pneumonia)
  • Middle-ear infections
  • Chronic respiratory symptoms or problems

Tobacco smoke is also absorbed into walls, floors, furniture, clothes, toys and other household surfaces within minutes to hours after it is exhaled. Chemicals in the smoke can then be recycled into the air for hours, days and even months.5 Airing out rooms or separating the smoking from nonsmoking units within the same building does not always provide protection.

Not allowing smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to completely prevent exposure to secondhand smoke. Owners of apartment buildings have the right to make their buildings smoke-free. Landlords can actually save money in cleaning costs when preparing a unit that a smoker lived in for a new tenant. According to a 2010 study, on average, it costs nearly $5,000 more to prepare a smoking unit for a new tenant than it does to prepare a nonsmoking unit.7

If you have a medical condition made worse by secondhand smoke drifting into your apartment, federal and state disability laws might help you address the problem. Depending on the nature of your disability, your landlord may be required to make changes to reduce your exposure.

For more information and free resources, visit ChangeLab SolutionsFor additional help contact your local Health Department.


Smoke Can Travel Through Walls

Scientific studies show that smoke from a neighboring apartment can travel through ventilation systems, pipes, walls, open windows and doors, electrical sockets and even tiny cracks in plaster and drywall.

 


Californians Prefer Smoke-Free Dining

Research shows that, even outdoors, individuals can be exposed to a substantial amount of secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol when dining outdoors.

To find out if your city has an outdoor smoking policy, click here.


Your Kids Deserve Smoke-Free Playgrounds

Many California cities and counties have taken steps to strengthen secondhand smoke laws, reducing or eliminating secondhand smoke entirely from outdoor venues, including parks and beaches.

Are your city’s parks and beaches smoke free? Find out here.


You’re Not Being Paid to be Exposed to Toxic Secondhand Smoke

Check out the California Smoke-Free Workplace Law if you are being exposed to toxic secondhand smoke at your workplace.

 


 Smoking in Cars is Toxic

The level of air pollution in a car caused by smoke from a cigarette is so severe that breathing it is dangerous for anyone, but especially for children. Detailed video on California Smoke-Free Cars Law.

  • References

    1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, A Report of the Surgeon General. 2010
    2. Office of the U.S Surgeon General; Know the Risks: E-cigarettes and Young People
    3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Secondhand Smoke What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006
    4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fact Sheet: "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," 1993.
    5. American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Thirdhand Smoke in Apartment and Condos: Recommendations for Landlords and Property Managers.
    6. Ong, Michael K, et al. Implementing Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing in California: Effect on Smoking-Related Property Costs, 2010.

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