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What Every Youth Should Know

A Recipe For Toxic Soup
One cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals — 69 are known to cause cancer to humans and over 200 are known to be toxic to humans. Some examples are:

When a person smokes near you, you breathe in second-hand smoke. Many of us breathe it in whether we know it or not, in public places, around doorways of buildings and at work. When someone smokes inside a home or car, everyone inside breathes second-hand smoke.

Whether you're hanging out with friends, relaxing at home, or at a party, chances are that you may be exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke. That's why you need to know as much as you can to protect yourself, your friends and your family. Know the facts!

What is second-hand smoke?

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker, combined with the smoke released from the end of a burning cigarette.

What makes it so dangerous?

It's filled with more than 4,000 chemicals, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen, cyanide and 4-aminobiphenyl, a substance so toxic that it has been banned for over 30 years in the workplace. It contains hydrogen cyanide (a gas that can damage lungs) in proportions that are 160 times higher than what is considered dangerous. It contains the same toxic chemicals as the smoke inhaled by the smoker. Opening a window in another room or having air purifiers or ventilation systems can't protect you from second-hand smoke. Once the cigarette is out, second-hand smoke remains in the environment (your clothes, your hair, the air around you ) and is still toxic! There is no known safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and it causes at least 1,000 deaths every year in Canada.

What can I do?

If you smoke make a decision today to quit.

It's up to you

These facts and statistics are scary because they're true. Next time you or your friends think about lighting up, take a second to think about the effects on people around you and your environment.

Smokefree Spaces: Why Care?

Why care about second-hand smoke? It smells bad. It hurts. It kills. Exposure to second-hand smoke is totally preventable and avoidable. Your knowledge will give you credibility. Inspiration to move to the next level is what you'll find in this website, you'll learn about those working to make a difference in their communities, and how you can do the same.

ACETIC ACID: found in hair dye and developer

AMMONIA: found in many household cleaners used to clean floors and toilets

BENZENE: found in rubber cement

CADMIUM:  found in batteries and artists’ oil paint

ETHANOL: found in alcohol

HEXAMINE: found in barbecue lighter fluid

LEAD: found in batteries

METHANE GAS: found in manure or any other feces

ACETONE: found in fingernail polish remover

CARBON MONOXIDE: found in car exhaust fumes

NAPTHALENES: used in explosives, moth balls, and paint pigments

ARSENIC: found in rat poison

FORMALDEYHDE: found in embalming fluid

PHENOL: used in disinfectants and plastics

BUTANE: found in lighter fluid

HYDRAZINE: used in jet and rocket fuels

TAR: found in road pavement and roofing materials

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