> Why Go Smoke-Free > Second-hand Smoke
Exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) is more than a nuisance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and non-smoking adults. THERE IS NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE TO SECOND-HAND SMOKE. Even brief exposure can be harmful to people’s health.
Second-hand smoke comes from the burning end of a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe. Two-thirds of the smoke from a burning cigarette is not inhaled by the smoker, and enters the surrounding area.
The way smoke moves throughout a building is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. The gases in cigarette smoke expand to fill spaces around pipes and electrical conduits and between walls and floors or ceilings.
Research conducted in Minnesota apartment buildings found that while generally smoke travels into the units above where it was generated, it can also move into adjacent units on the same floor or even into units below.
Second-hand smoke is a major problem for many BC residents living in apartments and condominiums, especially those who suffer from chronic health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. For many forced to breathe their neighbour's smoke, the only remedy is to move. But moving is not always an option for the elderly, or for people with limited incomes or disabilities.
Why is Second-Hand Smoke So Dangerous? *
Ventilation Myths *
Air filters, purifiers and Ventilation systems do not remove all the chemicals in second-hand smoke and should not be considered viable alternatives to smoking bans in multi-unit dwellings. Scientific evidence proves ventilation and air-cleaning systems do not provide effective protection against the health hazards of second-hand smoke. While ventilation and related methods can clear some of the smoke from the air, there is no system that can remove enough toxins to effectively protect the public from second-hand smoke.
Some Facts to consider:
For more useful tips on addressing indoor air quality issues in apartments visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.
For more information on how to reduce second-hand exposure in a multi-unit dwellings visit US Indoor Environmental Engineering.