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Second-hand smoke is also dangerous

Even if you yourself don't smoke, you can still get sick or die from tobacco. When you breathe the smoke from another person's cigarette, it can be as bad as smoking cigarettes yourself. 

  • Secondhand smoke exposure is the number two cause of lung cancer (smoking is the number one cause)
  • Marrying a smoker increases your risk of heart disease and COPD
  • Just 30 minutes' exposure to second-hand smoke hardens your arteries (arteriosclerosis); more exposure puts you at risk for heart problems
  • Smoking can increase your risk of miscarriage and stillbirths
  • Babies whose mother smoked while she was pregnant or who are around second-hand smoker after they're born are more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS)

Smoking directly affects the quality of air that you breathe in, especially inside. Read more about how smoking affects indoor air quality here.


In Canada, all three levels of government have the authority to protect citizens from second-hand smoke. Federal government can ban or restrict smoking on federal lands and corporations and in areas of federal regulation (e.g. transportation, banking).

Provincial government can ban or restrict smoking in areas of provincial jurisdiction (e.g. workplaces, public places)

Municipal and regional governments usually have the authority to ban or restrict smoking within their geographic limits