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Secondhand Smoke: What You Can Do

Remember, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.  The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that breathing even a little secondhand smoke poses a risk to your health. The only way to fully protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of secondhand smoke is through 100% smoke-free environments.

Protect your health Children

  • Choose restaurants and bars that are smoke-free. Thank them for being smoke-free.
  • Let owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that smoke bothers you. Tell them a “no smoking” section is not good enough.

Protect your children’s health

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your child.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home or car. Opening a window does not protect your children from smoke. Use a smoke-free day care center.
  • Do not take your child to restaurants or other indoor public places that allow smoking.
  • Teach older kids to stay away from secondhand smoke.

If you are a smoker, the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke is to quit smoking. In the meantime, you can protect your family by making your home and vehicles smoke-free and only smoking outside. A smoke-free home rule can also help you quit smoking.


Join the national trend. Take the Smoke-free Home Pledge by calling the toll-free Smoke-free Home Pledge Hotline at 1-866-SMOKE-FREE (1-866-766-5337) or visiting

To access a telephone quitline serving your area, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit

Information contained in this article has been taken directly from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic.