Protecting yourself and others from secondhand smoke
Protect yourself and your loved ones from the hazards of secondhand smoke:
- Don't smoke.
- If you do smoke, quit if you can. Getting support can help you succeed. See
tobacco-cessation resources fact sheet (PDF,160 KB) »
- Don't smoke in your home or car around nonsmokers, especially children.
- Don't allow smoking in your home or car. If someone must smoke on the road, stop at a rest area for a smoke break outside the car.
- If you must smoke, go outside away from entrances, windows and building vents.
If you are a parent who smokes, the best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to quit. However, if you are unable to quit smoking, you can lessen your children's exposure:
- Smoke outside the house, even when the kids aren't there. This keeps toxic chemical out of the home.
- Cut back on your smoking. Going from a pack to half a pack a day will not get rid of the smoke, but it will lessen it.
- Delay your first smoke of the day until the kids have left for school, and it's best to take it outside.
Secondhand smoke is not only hazardous to humans, but to other living creatures as well. Research has proven that the chances of cancer, skin irritations, and even death are greatly increased in pets that are exposed to secondhand smoke.
- The UK Work-Life office offers information to help you help your pets. Please visit their
website for ways to keep your pet healthier!
If you have friends or relatives who smoke, tell them before they visit that your home is smoke free. Ask that they smoke outside or before they visit. Explain that secondhand smoke makes children ill, and a smoke- free home is important to you.
Other ways to keep your home smoke- free include:
- Posting "no-smoking" signs.
- Removing all ashtrays.
- Telling caregivers before they visit that your home is smoke free.
Use your power of choice
- Choose smoke-free restaurants, hotels and other businesses.
- Choose smoke-free child care facilities.
- Choose smoke-free adult care facilities.
- If you have friends or family members who smoke in their homes, choose to visit with them elsewhere.
- Teach your children to remove themselves from smoking areas.
- If your work area is not smoke-free, talk with your employer about a smoke-free policy.