Secondhand smoke, also called involuntary smoking or passive smoking, is a mixture of gases and fine particles that includes:
- Smoke from burning tobacco
- Smoke that has been exhaled by people smoking
- More than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic, and about 70 that can cause cancer.
tobacco smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the
United States. Closer to home, an estimated 2,900 Illinois citizens die
each year from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause heart
disease and/or lung cancer (exposure increases risk from 20 – 30
- There is no risk-free level of contact with secondhand smoke; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.
2006 Surgeon General's report found that even brief exposures to
secondhand smoke may have adverse effects on the heart and respiratory
systems and increase the severity of asthma attacks, especially in
Recent research indicates that people inhaling smoke at
an outdoor café or other outside venue can breathe in wisps of smoke
that are many times more concentrated than normal background air
Aside from the risk to the general campus
community, secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous for people with
cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD and
certain allergies, older adults, pregnant women, and children. The
campus houses several laboratory daycares and schools, as well as
hosting a myriad of summer camps.
Our campus community believes
that secondhand smoke is a problem on campus. The following are results
from the April 2012 survey:
- 86 percent of students and employees believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard.
- 71 percent of students and 49 percent of employees say they are exposed to secondhand smoke on the campus.
percent of students and 69 percent of employees say littering of
tobacco materials (e.g. cigarette butts) is a problem on the