| Strata Corporations > 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.
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.
Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.” 2006, the Government of BC and Health Canada.
Each year in Canada, breathing second-hand smoke causes more than 1000 deaths in non-smokers from lung cancer and heart disease, and keeps thousands more from leading normal, healthy lives.
The most comprehensive scientific report on the health consequences of second-hand smoke was conducted by the US Surgeon General in 2006 and should be a wake up call for non-smokers and smokers alike. The US Surgeon General’s Report warns that no amount of second-hand exposure is safe.
Key conclusions from the report reveal that:
Second-hand smoke causes acute respiratory problems
Exposure to Second-hand smoke harms children
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. The scientific evidence proves that 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 ventilation system that can remove enough toxins to effectively protect the public from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Some Facts to consider: