Protect Yourself

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Visit the Secondhand Smoke section to learn about how toxic secondhand smoke really is.

  • Make your home and car a nonsmoking environment. Do not be afraid to ask smokers to respect your request.
  • Ensure that there is no smoking at your childcare facility by asking if it is a smoke-free campus 24/7, which is required by law. Report violations to your local health department.
  • Inquire if your child’s school grounds are 100 percent smoke-free. If you find that smoking is allowed in outdoor areas, voice your concern to the administration.
  • If you encounter smoking at a designated nonsmoking event, contact your local health department to voice your concern.
  • Encourage your faith community to create a 100 percent smoke-free policy for the entire church grounds.


  • When looking for a new home, tell landlords that you want smoke-free housing.
  • Check the smoke-free apartment registry for non-smoking rental options.
  • Encourage your landlord to adopt smoke-free housing policies and explain that it is legal to do so. Click here for information on how to establish smoke-free policies.
  • Talk to your neighbors about their interest in smoke-free units and smoke-free outdoor areas. Craft a signature petition supporting smoke-free housing units and present it to the owner/manager.
  • If you experience secondhand smoke drifting into your apartment, notify your landlord immediately. Visit the Resources page for additional help.


  • Support smoke-free outdoor dining by frequenting establishments that have adopted such policies. Thank those establishments that have smoke-free outdoor dining policies.
  • Voice your concern to your waiter and management if they allow smoking on outdoor patios. Encourage them to adopt a smoke-free dining policy.

Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, at least 70 of which cause cancer.1 2

  • References

    1. 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, Washington, DC: 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.
    2. National Toxicology Program. 11th Report on Carcinogens, 2005, Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program, 2000.

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