Inhaling Secondhand Smoke Can Cause Lung Cancer in Nonsmoking Adults.
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers. It contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of the chemicals are toxic and about 70 are known to cause cancer. You can be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, cars, the workplace, and public places, such as bars, restaurants, and recreational settings.
Inhaling secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. In the United States, approximately 3,000 adults die each year due to lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker’s chances of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
Secondhand smoke also causes serious health effects in infants and children, including:
- Ear infections
- Bronchitis and pneumonia
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Frequent lower respiratory illness
- Wheezing and coughing
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks