Eliminated Cigarette / Secondhand Smoke From Your Home

February 27th 2002

Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke emitted from a burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe, and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Also known as environmental tobacco smoke, it can be easily recognized by it's distinctive odor. Secondhand smoke contaminates the air and is retained in clothing, curtains and furniture. To many, secondhand smoke is unpleasant, causing symptomatic irritation of the eyes and nose. More importantly it also represents a significant health hazard. Of the more than 4,000 different chemicals found in secondhand smoke, over 40 have been shown to cause cancer.

Although second hand smoke is a danger to everyone, children are particularly vulnerable. Exposure to secondhand smoke decreases lung efficiency and impairs lung function in children of all ages. It also increases both the frequency and severity of childhood asthma. It can aggravate sinusitis, rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic respiratory problems such as cough and postnasal drip. Children exposed to secondhand smoke will also suffer from more colds and sore throats. Those children whose parents smoke half a pack a day or more are at nearly double the risk of hospitalization for a respiratory illness.

Tobacco smoke can also have harmful effects on your property and valuables. It contains tar which adheres to walls, furniture, carpets, clothing and other articles having large surfaces. This can damage your valuable possessions at the same time as leaving an unsightly film of liquid tar.

The good news is that cigarette smoke, and other airborne allergens, can be effectively controlled through proper air purification. Not all air purifiers are created equally. A dual filtration system encompassing not only medical-grade HEPA filtration, but also a secondary chemical filtration (activated carbon and/or zeolite) is generally recommended due to the large number of harmful passes as well as particulate contained in secondhand smoke.