CDC Says 58 Million Non-smokers in U.S. Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

The number includes two of every five children aged three to 11 years, according to the agency.

One in four non-smokers is still exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a new Vital Signs report from the CDC. That equates to 58 million people in the United States.

Data show that declines in exposure to secondhand smoke have been slower and exposure remains higher among children, African-Americans, those who live in poverty, and those who live in rental housing. The report found that two in every five children aged three to 11 years are still exposed to secondhand smoke.

"Secondhand smoke can kill. Too many Americans, and especially too many American children, are still exposed to it," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH. "That 40 percent of children -- including seven in 10 black children -- are still exposed shows how much more we have to do to protect everyone from this preventable health hazard."

Some of the other key findings were: Nearly half of black non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, more than two in five non-smokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to secondhand smoke, and more than one in three non-smokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke.

"About 80 million Americans live in multi-unit housing, where secondhand smoke can seep into smoke-free units, and shared areas from units where smoking occurs," said Brian King, Ph.D., acting deputy director for research translation in CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "The potential of exposure in subsidized housing is especially concerning because many of the residents -- including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities -- are particularly sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke."

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue