Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental or passive smoke, is the smoke that is created when someone is smoking or heating tobacco and other products. The secondhand smoke is released into the air from both the product - cigarette, cigar, pipe, loose tobacco, hookah pipe to name a few - and when a user exhales.
There is no safe level that anyone should breathe.
You can usually see or smell secondhand smoke, but what you can't see are the 4,000+ chemicals including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, chromium, nickel, vinyl chloride, and arsenic that make up that smoke. More than 50 of these chemicals can cause cancers.
To protect people from secondhand smoke and promote tobacco-free living, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans smoking in enclosed public places, workplaces, and in vehicles carrying children under 16 to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
It also makes some outdoor areas smoke-free including children's playgrounds and play areas, sports fields and spectator areas and surrounding spaces. It also prohibits smoking on bar and restaurant patios.
As well, some municipal bylaws have been passed for outdoor spaces to keep tobacco, hookah, and other smoking devices away from the places families gather.
Landlords and multi-unit housing owners too are starting to make their buildings smoke free to respond to complaints of drifting secondhand smoke entering neighbouring units and to reduce the damage secondhand smoke causes in units.