8. What are the health consequences of secondhand smoke?
Exposure to secondhand smoke is known to cause death and disease and is the third leading cause of preventable death in this country, killing more than 40,000 nonsmokers each year. The Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that there is no risk free level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found secondhand tobacco smoke to be a risk to public health, and has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen, the most dangerous class of carcinogen. Furthermore, the California Air Resources Board has categorized secondhand smoke as a toxic air contaminant.