Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Secondhand smoke exposure resources are intended to assist Regional Pennsylvania Tobacco-Free Coalition (RPTFC) members and residents with the elimination of exposure to secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol. The RPTFC works on many initiatives to help prevent the exposure to secondhand smoke in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Community Garden Signs

Even gardens could use some help against the harm of tobacco. The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania has been working with Community Gardens to go tobacco-free. Community gardens going tobacco-free is not only important for the lungs of gardeners, but also for the growth of the plants. Tobacco and cigarettes can be a vector for Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), an RNA virus that negatively affects plants. TMV can be spread mechanically through touch or physical movement of tobacco residue. TMV infects a wide host range of vegetable plants, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Although TMV rarely kills plants, it severely stunts their growth and reduces crop yields. 

To assist with the campaign to go smoke & tobacco-free, ALA in Pennsylvania created
eight, smoke-free community garden signs that can be ordered for community gardens across the commonwealth. These new signs will be coupled with a campaign to educate community members about how tobacco residue can be hazardous to the growth of vegetable plants. 

Multi-Unit Housing

Secondhand smoke exposure poses serious health threats to children and adults. For residents of multi-unit housing (e.g., apartment buildings and condominiums), secondhand smoke can be a major concern. It can migrate from other units and common areas and travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems.

Public and private multi-unit housing properties across the country have moved to solve this problem by making their housing, including individual units, smoke-free. This move not only protects residents and staff from exposure to secondhand smoke, but also saves properties money on costs to turnover units and significantly reduces fire risk for buildings.

Tobacco-Free College Campus

Smoke- and tobacco-free colleges and universities are gaining popularity across the U.S. In fact, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), there were at least 2,375 100% smoke-free campus sites as of July 1, 2019, and of those 2,375, over 2,000 were also 100% tobacco-free (includes smokeless and noncombustible forms of tobacco) while 1,986 also prohibit e-cigarette use everywhere.

With the increase in college and university campuses going smoke- and tobacco-free, there has been a decline in the number of youth and young adults who smoke. In 2016, past 30-day cigarette use declined from 16% among college students in 2010, to 9% in 2016. Tobacco-free policies also help educate about the dangers of tobacco products among college students and work to raise awareness, get students involved, and decrease the number of young adults who get addicted. Lastly, cigarette butts are the most littered item on earth, with 4.5 trillion cigarettes butts being littered each year. Tobacco-free policies help to save the environment by not only reducing secondhand smoke, but by keeping the campus clean and free of littered tobacco products.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT) and Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU), the Regional Pennsylvania Tobacco-Free Coalitions have collaborated to establish a Tobacco 21 Awareness Campaign for college and university campuses in Pennsylvania, since the age increase more significantly impacted those aged 18 – 21.

The overall goal of this campaign is to educate the 18-21 age range population about the new Tobacco 21 Federal Law, working with college campuses and directing them to PACT and the American Lung Association for more information and assistance with quitting tobacco products, if needed.  In addition to educational awareness and cessation services, this campaign also aspires to assist college campuses either enact or strengthen comprehensive tobacco-free campus policies to protect students’ and staff’s lungs from the dangers of secondhand smoke. This campaign includes numerous resources for college campuses including, but not limited to the following:

Awareness Campaign Posters

The College Cessation Flyer includes all of the available programs that assist young adults with quitting.


Public Service Announcements
(PSA) for campuses to utilize. Reach out to Chelsey Hildebrand for more information on PSA templates and how to promote them on your campus today!

College Campus Mini-Grant Application provides funding for higher education institutions that are interested in promoting tobacco-free resources and policy on their campus.

Freedom From Smoking Plus, College Toolkit has marketing materials, program recruitment resources and social media posts for campuses to use to help their students. Freedom From Smoking Plus® offers online help with quitting tobacco products. Contact for your toolkit.

PACT also has the following resources available for campuses that are interested in going tobacco-free.

Tobacco Resource Flyers
Worksite Policy

Secondhand smoke and tobacco use at worksites may increase employees’ health risks, reduce employees’ quality of life and increase healthcare costs substantially.

Tobacco free worksite policies not only protect workers from the health dangers of secondhand smoke, but result in a more efficient work environment.

The Worksite Tobacco-Free Toolkit and Worksite Tobacco-Free Grounds Toolkit include educational materials and resources to assist worksites with the transition into a healthier environment for employees, clients and visitors.

Worksite Tobacco-Free Return on Investment, English and Spanish

Additional Worksite Policy Tools: 

Young Lungs at Play (YLAP)

Young Lungs at Play (YLAP) is a program aimed to help communities create tobacco-free parks, playgrounds and recreational areas for children. Many Pennsylvania communities have adopted outdoor tobacco-free policies at parks, zoos, athletic fields, playgrounds, trails and even city sidewalks and streets to help protect both children and the environment.   

Young Lungs at Play Honor Roll

YLAP Thank You Cards – Reach out to to order thank you cards to send to municipalities that you have worked with regarding policy updates.

YLAP Toolkit – Reach out to to send you a toolkit.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Resources
Multi-Unit Housing
Tobacco-Free College Campus
Tobacco Resource Flyers
Worksite Policy
Young Lungs at Play (YLAP)

Contact Us to Receive Thank You Cards to send to municipalities that you have worked with regarding policy updates OR to receive our YLAP Toolkit.

Additional Resources

  • Visit the American Lung Association’s website
  • Facilitators are able to access a catalog of all print literature that is available, view pricing and place an order for FFS materials through our new print store. Please submit prior to the start of your clinic, preferable two full weeks before.

  • Learn more about Live Healthy PA, encompassing tobacco data and resources from Pennsylvania’s DOH

Read the announcement concerning a new, national anti-vaping curriculum providing youth with facts about e-cigarettes and resources to quit, called Vaping: Know the Truth. 

Vaping: Know the Truth will help guide teachers and empower teens who vape to quit, or to never start in the first place. The curriculum will be available to schools across the country. 

  • Vaping: Know the Truth Flyer
    Describes vaping prevention and resources to quit.
  • This is Quitting Flyer
    A free, anonymous, text message, quit vaping program from truth®. Partnership opportunities to customize This is Quitting with your tobacco-control programs are available.

3001 Gettysburg Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011
(p) 717-971-1134
(f) 888-415-5757

This project is funded by a grant through
the PA Department of Health.


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