Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette has more harmful chemicals in it than the smoke inhaled directly by the person who is smoking it. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Infants and children are particularly at risk to the effects of second-hand smoke. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are at greater risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma.

Exposure to second-hand smoke can increase your risk of:

  • heart disease (by 25-30%) and lung cancer (by 20-30%)
  • nasal, sinus, breast and cervical cancer
  • breathing problems like emphysema, pneumonia and bronchitis

Smoke-Free Homes and Cars

Create a smoke-free home and smoke-free car to protect yourself, your family members and visitors from exposure to second-hand smoke. Over 70% of Ontario households ask family members and visitors to go outside to smoke. Smoke-free areas in your daily life can also be a step towards quitting tobacco for good. Talk about it with your family, take the steps to making your home smoke-free.

Second-hand smoke is even more dangerous inside a small space like your car. Harmful carbon monoxide is more concentrated in a small space and this can affect a driver’s ability to stay alert. The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in a car with children under the age of 16.

Smoke-free Apartments, Condos and Co-ops

Four out of five Ontarians living in apartments, condominiums or housing co-ops want to live in a smoke-free building.

Smoking and Vaping Legislation and Enforcement

Toronto and Ontario laws are in place to protect people from being exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, help smokers reduce or consider quitting, and reduce the visibility of smoking, making it less socially acceptable to children and youth.