Tobacco use, alone, kills more people each year than all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

For every person in California who dies from smoking approximately 20 more state residents are suffering from serious smoking-caused disease and disability, or other tobacco-caused health problems.

Tobacco

More than 440,000 people die in the United States from tobacco-related diseases every year, making it the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. Smoking reduces the health of people who smoke in general and causes may diseases. Including:

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease.
  • Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease.

CANCER

  • Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.
  • Smoking also causes the following cancers: Acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, cancer of the cervix, cancer of the esophagus,  kidney cancer, cancer of the larynx (voice box), cancer of the oral cavity (mouth), cancer of the pharynx (throat),  stomach cancer and cancer of the uterus.

RESPIRATORY DISEASE

  • Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli of the lungs.

SMOKING & OTHER HEALTH EFFECTS

  • Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals -60 of the chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to be carcinogenic, which means they may cause cancer.

Some cancer causing substances include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Methanol
  • Hydrogen cyanide

Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 38,00 deaths among non-smokers each year in the United States, which includes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 35,000 deaths due to heart disease.

SECONDHAND SMOKE – THE SCIENCE

According to the Surgeon General’s 2010 and 2006 report, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful.   Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to immediate damage to the lining of the blood vessels, which is implicated in heart attacks and stroke.
•View the Surgeon General’s Reports

In 2006 the California Air Resources Board (CARB) officially declared tobacco smoke a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC). A (TAC is an air pollutant “which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.”
•View the Air Resource Board Final Report

SECONDHAND SMOKE & KIDS

Secondhand smoke has a marked effect on the health of infants and children. They are more vulnerable than adults because they are still developing physically and generally have higher breathing rates, which means they may inhale greater quantities of secondhand smoke than do adults.

Secondhand smoke exposure causes as many as 300,000 children in the United States, under the age of 18 months, to suffer lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis; exacerbates childhood asthma; and increase the risk of acute, chronic, middle-ear infections in children.

SECONDHAND SMOKE & PETS

There’s ample scientific evidence to suggest that secondhand cigarette smoke can cause cancer in companion animals. And pets don’t just inhale smoke; the smoke particles are also trapped in their fur and ingested when they groom themselves with their tongues.

Thirdhand Smoke

Third hand smoke is a relatively new and emerging subject of discussion. Thirdhand smoke is everything that is left after a cigarette is extinguished.  In essence when someone smokes in any place, toxic particulate matter from cigarette smoke sticks to hair, clothing, cars, household surfaces, carpet, drapes, walls and so on. When an innocent person comes into contact with those toxins, they transfer.

Research Studies:
• Does the Smoke Ever Really Clear? Thirdhand Smoke Exposure Raised New Concerns, Adrian Burton (2011)
When smokers move out and non-smokers move in: residential thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure, Georg E Matt (2011)