There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and the only way to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke is to eliminate the smoke exposure, according to the 2006 Surgeon’s General’s report titled The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.1
Secondhand Smoke is a Health Hazard
Exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for at least 3,000 lung cancer deaths and at least 46,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year.2 Thousands more people suffer from diseases caused or made worse by secondhand smoke such as emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis. Secondhand smoke also causes ear infections, sore throats, watery eyes, and coughing. In 2007, 66,000 Minnesotans of all ages were treated for conditions that were caused by secondhand smoke exposure.3
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Smoke-Free Policies Protect Employees and Guests
Secondhand smoke can linger in a room for hours after smoking has occurred—employees who clean rooms are exposed to this smoke in the air and also to the toxic smoke residue that forms on all surfaces.4 A smoke-free policy will keep your employees healthy, productive members of your team.
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- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.” 2006. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/
- California Environmental Protection Agency. “Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant.” 2005. http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/id/summary/summary.htm
- BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota. “Health Care Costs and Secondhand Smoke: The Bottom Line.” 2007.
- Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke, 2010. http://www.kiiss.org/hotels/faqs.html