Facts and Sources
- Secondhand smoke contains a mix of more than 4,000 chemicals, of which more than 11 are considered cancer-causing agents.
Secondhand smoke is a Class A carcinogen, just like asbestos or lead.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. 1992
- National Cancer Institute. Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. 2001.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for up to 3,000 lung deaths and at least 35,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year.
- International Agency for research on Cancer Monographs, Volume 83 (2002.)
- 11th Annual Report on Carcinogens. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2000.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Lost and Economic Costs – United States, 1995-2000. MMWR. 2002.
Before California bars became smoke-free, 74 percent of San Francisco bartenders reported respiratory problems, such as wheezing, asthma attacks, shortness of breath and excessive coughing. Within two months after the smoke-free law, these complaints dropped by 59 percent.
Source: Eisner MD, Smith AK, Blanc PD. Bartenders’ Respiratory Health After Establishment of Smoke-Free Bars and Taverns. JAMA. 1998.
Smoke-free laws do not hurt business or affect jobs. Despite New York City’s smoke-free law going into effect on March 30, 2003, 164,000 people on average worked in city bars and restaurants during the year — the highest number recorded in at least a decade. In fact, in the nine months following the law’s enactment, bars and restaurants gained 10,600 jobs.
Source: The State of Smoke-Free New York City: A One-Year Review. New York City Departments of Finance, Health & Mental Hygiene, Small Business Services and Economic Development Corporation. 2004.
Designated smoking areas don’t protect nonsmokers. Even when a common ventilation system is used in bars and restaurants, the estimated secondhand smoke risk levels are still 15 to 25 times Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “significant risk” level.
Source: Repace J. Can Ventilation Control Secondhand Smoke in the Hospitality Industry. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 2000.
Employees and customers in bars and restaurants covered by partial smoke-free ordinances or none at all are breathing pollutants at levels that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual recommended exposure limits by 2.5 to 3.5 times.
Source: MPAAT indoor air quality testing. 2005.
Smoke-free workplaces are a proven way to make quitting easier. Cigarette consumption would be reduced by an estimated 950 million packs in the first year if all workplaces in the United States were smoke-free.
Source: Ong MK, et al. Cardiovascular health and economic effects of smoke-free workplaces. Am. J Med. 2004.
Return to home page