Nonsmokers who breathe secondhand smoke consume toxic chemicals just as tobacco-users do. The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General Report concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that taking in even small amounts causes lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory distress in both adults and children.
Establishing policies to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke is one of the key objectives of Healthy People 2020, a set of goals and objectives released every ten years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to guide national health promotion and disease prevention. While scientific research and policy efforts have primarily focused on indoor exposure, a growing body of evidence has found that exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors can also pose a significant risk.
Why Smoke-Free? Learn more about the community health reasons for implementing smoke-free policies.
National Trends - Find out about the evolution of federal regulations related to secondhand smoke and popular initiatives in other states to reduce public exposure.
Delaware Trends - See how Delaware’s smoke-free policies compare to those in other states around the country.
Preventing secondhand smoke exposure is one initiative in a larger effort to reduce the effects of tobacco consumption. A strong network of nonprofit and government organizations also offer cessation programs to help smokers quit, peer-mentoring to prevent youth from starting to smoke, and campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of smokeless as well as traditional tobacco products.
photo courtesy of Coastal Connection