The smell used to give it away — that nasty, unmistakable scent of cigarette smoke. And you knew, somehow, your neighbor’s smoke was drifting in your house. But what if your neighbor vapes? Or smokes marijuana? That’s when the dangerous chemicals from next door become harder to detect or possibly mistaken for something else. All the while, you and your family’s health is at risk, sometimes without you ever knowing it.
Truth is, secondhand smoke is sneaky. It doesn’t need an open door or window to enter your apartment. A neighbor’s smoke can travel through tiny cracks in the floors, walls, pipes, ventilation systems, and even electrical outlets.
Secondhand smoke from cigarettes already kills 41,000 nonsmoking adults and 400 innocent children each year. And now secondhand vape is adding to the amount of toxic particles you could be exposed to every day. Because it’s not actually harmless water vapor. It’s a toxic aerosol that’s also filled with nicotine particles. To make matters worse, even secondhand marijuana contains many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco smoke. It’s new forms of secondhand smoke like these that are making it hard for Californians to find room to breathe freely, even in and around their own homes.
You do so much to protect your family already. You install alarm systems. You put baby monitors around the house. But in reality, one of the most dangerous things of all may be coming from next door.
So don’t ignore your neighbor’s secondhand smoke, no matter what it comes from. Your family’s health is at stake. And the bottom line is: unless your complex is completely smoke-free, you and your family could be in danger.
Toxic Air: the rise of secondhand vape and marijuana
While the days of choosing between “smoking or non-smoking” sections may be long gone, the threat of secondhand smoke is as real as ever. Just take a look around — on the way to work, at a public park or beach, on the sidewalk, around your home, or just about anywhere. You don’t have to go far to run into secondhand smoke these days. It’s practically everywhere and that’s no coincidence. Secondhand smoke exposure has been skyrocketing and here’s why.
Secondhand marijuana exposure increased 86% in the last two years.
Secondhand vape exposure increased 67% in the last two years.
Let’s pause here for a second and consider those numbers. That’s an awful lot of smoke. And that’s without taking into account the source that started this whole mess — cigarettes. That’s right, even secondhand tobacco smoke exposure went up almost 6% over the same time period. Between those three sources alone, we’re facing an issue that’s too big to ignore and almost impossible to avoid.
Naturally, you’re probably wondering: Is all of it harmful? Unfortunately, YES. Even vape and marijuana secondhand smoke contain toxic chemicals. To keep it simple, a good rule of thumb is that all secondhand smoke is harmful. No matter what it comes from or smells like, there’s no such thing as safe secondhand smoke. That includes cigarillos and hookah, too. But despite the rising threat of secondhand smoke, there’s actually plenty you can and should do.