Anyone who is exposed to smoke in their environment can develop serious, even deadly health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since 1964, about 2,500,000 people who do not smoke have died from health problems caused by secondhand smoke exposure.
Secondhand smoke comes from burning or heating tobacco through a cigarette, cigar, pipe, hookah or electronic cigarette. It also comes from the air a smoker exhales while smoking. Electronic cigarettes also emit an aerosol that can be inhaled by bystanders.
Nonsmoking adults can suffer from health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer if they are exposed to smoke. Consequences of secondhand smoke exposure for children is of great concern and a cause of respiratory problems, ear infections, asthma attacks and a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). When you enter a space that someone has smoked in, even if they are not actively smoking you and your children are being exposed to thirdhand smoke.
Thirdhand smoke is the smoke that clings to and is absorbed by carpets, walls, furniture, clothing, cars, hair, skin and any object (toys, etc.). This contamination builds up over time and does not go away.
You can protect your family by keeping all of your spaces smoke-free. Whether it is your home, car or place of business, there are resources to help you make changes. If you or someone you know needs support to quit smoking or using other tobacco products, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline is a free resource for all Kansans.
The Indoor Clean Air Act prohibits smoking in most indoor spaces in Kansas, with a few exceptions. You can learn more about this state policy by visiting the Kansas Smoke-Free website. You can help expand and improve local protections from second and thirdhand smoke exposure by finding out what additional policies your county or city has adopted, such as Smoke Free Parks.
We Are Here to Help
Our staff is here to provide technical assistance to any Kansan that is interested in protecting their communities from second and thirdhand smoke. If you have a question or need help email Carol.