Smoking Policies, Regulations, and Facts

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All about secondhand smoke - EPA Fact Sheetbullet

Secondhand Smoking - What you can do about it - EPA Fact Sheetbullet

Smoking and respiratory problems - EPA Fact Sheetbullet

Free publications and PSA videohorizontal rule


We have been overwhelmed by requests for information from members of the general public about environmental and safety concerns in the home and school in addition to the workplace.  The smoking issues start off our companion pages for the general public.  If you would like to see us develop pages regarding any other topics, please email us at Feedback and tell us what you would like!

Definition:ETS is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers.

Health Effects:Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; lung cancer; may contribute to heart disease. Specifically for children, increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and ear infections; build-up of fluid in the middle ear; increased severity and frequency of asthma episodes; decreased lung function.

Levels in Homes:Particle levels in homes without smokers or other strong particle sources are the same as, or lower than, those outdoors. Homes with one or more smokers may have particle levels several times higher than outdoor levels.

Steps to Reduce Exposure:bulletDo not smoke in your home or permit others to do so. bulletDo not smoke if children are present, particularly infants and toddlers. bulletIf smoking indoors cannot be avoided, increase ventilation in the area where smoking takes place. Open windows or use exhaust fans. bulletDo not smoke in the car. The high concentration of smoke in a small, closed compartment substantially increases the exposure to other passengers.


For Information on the U.S. District Court's decision regarding EPA's ETS study on secondhand smoke

Read EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner's 7/20/98 statement concerning the court decision.

Read EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner's 9/15/98 statement on the federal government's decision to appeal the NC Court decision that set aside parts of EPA's risk assessment regarding secondhand tobacco smoke.

Also see: Indoor Air Quality

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This page was updated on 2-Apr-2018