Secondhand Smoke

Topic Areas:


Heath Effects of Secondhand Smoke Exposure


  • Taking Action Against Secondhand Smoke: A report on focus groups conducted in Spanish and English with Hispanics/Latinos.  (PDF) Prepared by Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER) this reports provides insight into Latinos' attitudes and practices in regard to secondhand smoke and into messages that might influence them in protecting their children.

  • The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. A comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The findings are of major public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke: The Report of the California Environmental Protection Agency. An excellent technical report prepared by the National Cancer Institute. The full report is large and may be a long download. The "Executive Summary" is very useful and manageable.

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Tobacco Information and Tobacco Source.Surgeon General's reports (SGRs), including the section of SGR 2000 on Clean Indoor Air Regulations; "Clean Indoor Air Regulations Fact Sheet"; new citations of articles on smoking and health; links to tobacco industry documents; media campaign resource center; and searching information. A very useful site for consumer and technical information.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative. Click on "Secondhand Smoke." An excellent series of technical background papers on the effects of secondhand smoke on child health, tobacco interference in secondhand smoke research, and other topics. They are lengthy and require time to download and print.

  • Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Gateway to the EPA's Smoke Free Home materials, some available in Spanish and English; links to other information on secondhand smoke and children, asthma and other indoor air pollutants. Provides a search engine for EPA publications.

  • Report on Carcinogens. Prepared by the National Toxicology Program, this list includes Group A (known human) and Group B (reasonably anticipated to be) human carcinogens. It includes both environmental tobacco smoke and several of the compounds found in it. Citing this source may be useful because of the pall cast on the EPA report that classified smoke as a Group A carcinogen.

  • National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. This report provides an ongoing assessment of the U.S. population’s exposure to environmental chemicals by measuring them or their metabolites in human specimens, such as blood or urine. It shows that exposure to secondhand smoke has been drastically reduced in the past decade.

  • The Healthier Worksite Initiative. Toolkits to help implement a smoke-free workplace policy.

  • Cigarette Additives. Although most of the toxins in secondhand smoke are products of the combustion of tobacco, this list is included because any additives affect the composition of secondhand smoke.

  • Repace and Associates. Fact sheets on secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke and cardiovascular disease, restaurants laws, and lessons from California prepared by James Repace, who has published 50 scientific papers on ETS.

  • American Cancer Society Tobacco Site. Search for "secondhand smoke" in the search box and you will have access to a large selection of literature, ranging from smoke-free college policies to "Clean Air for Every Worker" to radon and secondhand smoke.

  • American Lung Association. Type "secondhand smoke" in the search box, and you will have access to over 2500 articles on the subject. Type your zip code into the local search box and you will connect with the web site of the American Lung Association of Minnesota.

  • California Environmental Protection Agency. The California EPA's Air Resources Board has declared secondhand smoke a "Toxic Air Contaminant" and is working on legislation to reduce secondhand smoke exposure.


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  • "Can Ventilation Control Secondhand Smoke in the Hospitality Industry?" Analysis by James Repace of Proceedings of the Workshop on Ventilation Engineering Controls for Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the Hospitality Industry. It concludes that one cannot protect patrons or workers from secondhand smoke in hospitality venues without "massively impractical increases in ventilation." Although this report is fairly technical, it provides sound arguments against the hospitality industry's attempts to establish ventilation as a practical substitute for ordinances. Provides links to other reports on tobacco control in California.

  • Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (Ventilation). Entry point for useful articles on ventilation and other clean indoor air topics. Click on "Secondhand Smoke."


News, Facts, and Statistics
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  • Abstracts of articles from newspapers and journals around the nation and abroad with links to the originals. A convenient format allows you to subscribe to daily e-mails on select items of interest, for example, smoke-free policies, secondhand smoke, and lawsuits.

  • Search CDC Web site. Here you can search for a variety of tobacco control topics and find everything from technical reports to consumer information and health promotion materials. 

  • PubMed. The National Library of Medicine's search service. Provides access to over 11 million citations in a database in which medical and certain other scientific journals are indexed. For example, you can get the citations for 11 articles by Stan Glantz on secondhand smoke by entering the following phrase in the search box: "environmental tobacco smoke AND Glantz SA." From the citation, you can access abstracts for most articles. Sometimes the abstract will link you to the web site of the journal in which the article was published. Although a few journal articles are free, there is often a charge for them.

  • State of Minnesota Web site Search. Allows you to search by keyword for all the relevant information for the State of Minnesota. It will help you find the chapter number of a statute, for example, or information on the tobacco endowments.


Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, Freedom to Breathe Act, and Other Minnesota Statutes
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Nonsmokers' Rights and Other Advocacy Groups
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  • Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR). The web site of ANR, a national group, is a very useful advocacy tool, providing, for example , "Economic Impact of Smoke-free Ordinances: What Restaurateurs and the Tobacco Industry Have to Say."

  • TobaccoScam. A site established by tobacco activist and academic Stan Glantz, this site shows how Big Tobacco uses and abuses the hospitality industry.


State Tobacco Control Sites
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  • State of California Tobacco Control Section. Reports, including "A Model for Change: The California Experience in Tobacco," a study of California's comprehensive program; press releases, for example, "Support for Smoke-Free Bars Grows Stronger in California"; and the "Response of Californians to Environmental Tobacco Smoke," a summary of changing opinions of Californians.

  • Oregon Health Authority. Key articles on tobacco topics such as studies on ischemic heart disease and secondhand smoke and to some other publications. Has excerpts from important tobacco documents and to the documents themselves. These show, for example, how the tobacco industry has fought to prevent passage of clean indoor air.


Anti-Tobacco Control Sites
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  • Hospitality Minnesota. Hospitality Minnesota is a trade association serving operators and suppliers of Minnesota's restaurants, hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds, and B&Bs.

  • Ban the Ban. An organization whose "goal is to counter the anti-tobacco movement."


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