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What is SHS?

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is a complex mixture of gases and particles that contains thousands of chemicals, including some well-established carcinogens.  It contains both small particles  as well as toxic chemicals including nicotine, arsenic, carbon monoxide, cyanide and countless other substances that can be inhaled and deposited in the lungs1.The scientific evidence on the health risks associated with exposure to SHS is clear, credible, and undisputable.  SHS causes premature death and disease in adults and children who do not smoke. SHS exposure in adults leads to heart disease and lung cancer; in infants and children, it leads to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight, exacerbation of asthma, chronic respiratory illness, reduced lung function growth, middle ear disease and acute respiratory illness1.

 1 U.S. Surgeon General Report, 2006.


This project is funded by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI), developed in consultation with Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Southern California, Institute for Global Health.