Second-hand smoke kills. It’s a fact that is often pushed aside and viewed as a temporary nuisance rather than a real health concern. You are more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke if you live in a multi-unit dwelling that is shared with a person who smokes. You may not notice the effects right away as it occurs over time, affecting long-term health. Exposure to smoke lingering in the air can cause the toxins in smoke to cling onto inanimate objects, resulting in third-hand smoke.
There are health risks associated with smoking, such as a predisposition to lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and emphysema. Children are especially vulnerable to these risks. Open windows, ventilation systems, and electrical outlets are just a few ways in which smoke travels. Smoke will always find a way to seep into hallways and neighbouring units, or cling onto porous objects.
Raising awareness about this issue in order to develop and enforce smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing can reduce the risks associated with second-hand smoke exposure, ultimately benefiting people’s health. For more information on smoke-free housing in Ontario, please visit www.smokefreehousingon.ca.