Secondhand Smoke – Don’t Be Exposed!

Do you and your family live in an apartment? Do you know if your property allows smoking? If you do not know the answers to these questions, you may be at risk of being exposed to secondhand smoke. If you answered yes to those questions, and you or your family members do not smoke, you might want to consider living in a place that keeps you safe from that exposure.

What is secondhand smoke?

Secondhand smoke is any smoke that comes from a cigarette, cigar, pipe or perhaps even an e-cigarette (in the form of the vapor). Even if you are not directly next to someone who is using any of these tobacco products, you may be at risk for exposure through drifting smoke in your apartment. Smoke can enter under the thresholds, through the electrical and plumbing systems and of course open doors and windows. There is even third hand smoke exposure from the carpets, paint and hard surfaces in many apartments.

Why is it dangerous?

There are over 7,000 chemicals that may be in the smoke that you inhale. 250 of those chemicals are known to be harmful and at least 69 of them can cause cancer. Some of those chemicals that can drift your way are arsenic, carbon monoxide, cyanide, formaldehyde, lead and nickel.

What are your risks?

Short term effects of smoke exposure are frequent colds, cough, chest discomfort, lung infection and reduced lung function and asthma. In young children and pets those risks and others increase. Long term exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease, emphysema, lung cancer and even premature death. There are even increased risk of developing numerous cancers like leukemia and breast cancer.

What can you do?

If you smoke or vape, stop. If you don’t smoke or vape, don’t start. Eliminate or reduce being around anyone who smokes or vapes. If you live in an apartment that allows smoking and you have smokers in apartments surrounding you, ask if you can be moved to an apartment that does not have smokers near it. When your lease has expired, consider moving to a smoke-free property. If you do not want to move, have a conversation with your property manager about going smoke-free. Another possibility is meeting with your apartment community group (if there is one) to approach the property manager about going smoke-free.

Is it ever safe?

Unfortunately, there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. The safest thing for you and your family members is to avoid exposure at all costs.

Need more information? Check out our website smokefreeliving.jocogov.org

Related Blog Posts

Stroke Awareness Month

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Did you know each year about as many Americans have a stroke as a heart attack? The good news is, that about 80 percent of strokes are preventable. What Is a Stroke? A stroke happens when…...

Bike & Roll to School Day 2022

Bike & Roll to School Day is Wednesday, May 4th! Set your alarm a few minutes early on Wednesday, May 4th and join your neighbors for National Bike & Roll to School Day. Bike & Roll to School Day events…...

Tour the Parade of Hearts for Your Heart

By now it’s no secret there’s a new art installation around town. There are 154 (5’x 5’) fiber-glass hearts, each designed and decorated by local artists, displayed throughout the Kansas City metro area. Kansas City’s Parade of Hearts will be…...

4 Steps to Build a Healthy Salad

Pack more nutrition into your day with a colorful, nutrient-dense, and healthy salad. We all know we need to eat more healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables and a salad is a perfect way to accomplish this. Keeping basic ingredients on…...

5 Easy Tips to Reduce Sugar Intake

Have you heard the suggestions to reduce sugar in your diet? Why? And what does that even mean? Here’s the scoop and 5 easy tips to start today. Why Reduce Sugar? Added sugars add calories. Excessive calories can lead to…...
View More Posts