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Second-hand smoke is what smokers breathe out and into the air. It’s also the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe. Second-hand smoke has the same chemicals in it as the tobacco smoke breathed in by a smoker. So if you’re sitting beside someone who’s smoking, you and everyone else around you are smoking too.
No amount is safe
Hundreds of the chemicals in second-hand smoke are toxic. More than 70 of them have been shown to cause cancer in human studies or lab tests.
Being around second-hand smoke puts you at risk of developing lung cancer and other lung diseases. You’re also at a higher risk for heart attacks and stroke.
It can bother your skin, eyes, nose and throat.
If you have allergies or breathing problems (like asthma), second-hand smoke can make them much worse.
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The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) is Canada’s only national, bilingual, toll-free service that offers personalized comprehensive cancer information in over 100 languages.