By now, everyone knows that secondhand smoke from cigarettes is bad for you and responsible for the deaths of about 4,000 Californians each year.1 But what Californians also need to know is that they are likely surrounded by more secondhand smoke than they think. This may come as surprise to many, but it’s due to two new sources. First is the growth of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in recent years. Mounting research shows these devices, which heat e-liquid, to be harmful as well, especially for youth and young adults. What’s more, they may be risky to people around them – the US Surgeon General has concluded that secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes is NOT harmless water vapor, but instead is an aerosol that contains a mixture of dangerous chemicals, including heavy metals.2 Second, marijuana use has become increasingly common since being legalized in November 2016, exposing more Californians to marijuana secondhand smoke in public and private places.
In fact, secondhand smoke from marijuana has significantly higher amounts of some toxic chemicals such as tar, and ammonia, and more than twice the amount of hydrogen cyanide, an extremely poisonous chemical.
What’s important to remember is that ALL secondhand smoke should be avoided, no matter where it comes from. If you think you and your family are being exposed to secondhand smoke at home, you can find support by viewing our make your home smokefree article. To find out what your city is doing to protect your community from toxic secondhand smoke visit SecondhandDangers.org and enter your city’s name.