Secondhand smoke causes underlying health conditions -- a risk factor for more severe COVID symptoms
Exposure to secondhand smoke makes breathing difficult, and is also a significant risk factor for many underlying health conditions linked more severe COVID-19 disease, including heart disease, diminished lung function, and associated risk of respiratory illnesses. When business resumes, those who are considered high-risk and susceptible to virus exposure will need to do their best to avoid smoke-filled environments. Survivors of COVID-19 experiencing lung damage will also need to avoid secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke damages the immune system -- a risk factor for more severe COVID symptoms
Secondhand smoke damages the immune system as evidenced by the nation's doctor,The U.S. Surgeon General. According to the 2014 Surgeon General's Report,there is sufficient evidence to infer that cigarette smoke exposure compromises the immune system and immune homestatis, which increases risk for several disorders, Including pulmonary infection. Available science from the 2006 and 2010 Surgeon General Reports shows that the profileof secondhand smoke is largely consistent with that of primary smoke inhaled into the lungs from an active smoker. The effect would be expected to be smaller for secondhand compared to primary exposure given volume of toxicants and length of exposure. The potential role of the immuno-compromising nature of secondhand smoke is further reinforced by emerging Research that has specifically documented a link between the two. (References:The Health Consequences of Smoking -- 50 Years of Progress A Report of The Surgeon General, Chapter 10:Other Specific Outcomes, p. 523 and Secondhand Smoke Induces Inflammation and Impairs Immunity to Respiratory Infections)
Only 100% smokefree environments can guarantee protection to employees and patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke. Ventilation systems do not address the health hazards of secondhand smoke. These systems cannot eliminate exposure to the gases, toxins, carcinogens, and particulate matter contained in secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol. Even during brief or low levels of exposure, Secondhand smoke still creates significant health risks especially to the cardiovascular system. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The effects of secondhand smoke exposure on the body are immediate and can produce Adverse inflammatory and respiratory effects within 30 minutes of exposure. We strongly encourage businesses to ReopenSmokefree to protect the health and safety of workers and the general public.