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Secondhand smoke is tobacco smoke that affects a nonsmoker.
Secondhand smoke can come directly from a cigarette or other lit tobacco; it
may also be exhaled by a person smoking.
Secondhand smoke is sometimes referred to as environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS), involuntary smoking, or passive smoking.
Secondhand smoke contains the same cancer-causing and lung-damaging
chemicals that affect smokers. Repeated exposure to secondhand smoke over many
years can cause damage to a nonsmoker's lungs that is similar to that of a
Secondhand smoke is the most important risk factor for cancer among
nonsmokers, far greater than other known cancer-causing substances. Secondhand
smoke is most harmful to:
Current as of:
March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine,
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