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Lung Association Urges Additional Protections from Dangers of Secondhand Smoke on 10th Anniversary of Historic Report

(June 27, 2016) - SACRAMENTO

Ten years ago today, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report detailing the potentially deadly health effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Recognizing that too many people are still exposed to secondhand smoke a decade after “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke” report was issued, the American Lung Association in California calls on state and local elected officials to continue efforts to protect residents from the harms of secondhand smoke exposure. 

The Surgeon General’s 2006 report found that secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults, and children exposed to secondhand smoke are also at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more severe asthma. 

“The Surgeon General’s report made it clear – there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Olivia Diaz-Lapham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association in California. “We must continue our efforts to protect the health of residents where they live, work and play.” 

California has been a leader in the fight against secondhand smoke. Just this month, new legislation went into effect closing loopholes in our state’s smokefree workplace laws. Unfortunately, many Californians are still exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke where they should feel the safest – in their home. Nonsmoking residents of multi-unit housing complexes who choose to make their units smokefree still may be exposed to secondhand smoke that drifts into their units from neighbors who smoke in their homes or common areas. It’s a problem that hits children and those suffering from lung cancer and COPD particularly hard.  State and local elected officials should act to protect the health of these, and all, Californians. 

The Lung Association also is fighting to reduce smoking rates and keep tobacco products out of the hands of children. As part of the Save Lives California coalition, the Lung Association is urging voters to support an initiative on the November ballot to increase the tax on tobacco and related products by $2 per pack.  

“Studies show that the higher the tobacco tax, the less people smoke. That is why the Lung Association has led the charge to get this initiative on the ballot to save lives and save taxpayers money,” Diaz-Lapham said. 

To learn more about comprehensive smokefree laws and policies, visit



About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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