July 25, 2001

Even a Little Secondhand Smoke Is Dangerous

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

JAMA. 2001;286(4):462-463. doi:10.1001/jama.286.4.462

As more and more nonsmokers have come to understand the dangers associated with breathing secondhand smoke,1,2 the number of communities enacting ordinances requiring smoke-free workplaces and public places has increased rapidly. As of May 2001, hundreds of communities had enacted laws requiring smoke-free workplaces, smoke-free restaurants, and smoke-free bars. California requires all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, to be smoke-free.3,4 The theme for the World Health Organization's World No Tobacco Day in 2001 was "clean indoor air" and communities throughout the world are beginning to clear the air of secondhand smoke. Not only do the laws protect nonsmokers from the toxins in secondhand smoke, but they also create an environment that helps smokers cut down or stop smoking.5

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