What is Secondhand Smoke?

Combatting Secondhand Smoke in Louisiana

Secondhand smoke is smoke from the burning end of a tobacco product and the smoke exhaled by a person who smokes. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and at least 60 that cause cancer. Given that even brief exposure to smoke can be harmful to a person’s health, Well-Ahead Louisiana is committed to working with community leaders to reduce secondhand smoke and the threat it poses to Louisiana residents, especially those with health disparities.

What it Means to Geaux Smoke-Free

Protecting others from secondhand smoke can start in the places and spaces where we live, work and play. It might be at home, at work, at restaurants, even in schools and faith-based organizations. By implementing smoke-free policies in these places, exposure to secondhand smoke can be significantly reduced, which keeps the air healthy and clean for all Louisiana residents.

By definition, smoke-free means being free of exposure to or the use of any lighted or heated tobacco product. This includes items such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah and other lighted or heated plant material. Since vapor products like e-cigarettes emit smoke and contain nicotine and harmful chemicals, they should also be prohibited in smoke-free environments.

It’s important to note that smoke-free is not tobacco-free. Tobacco-free goes a step further by prohibiting the use of all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and dips.

Place-Based Policies

Smoke- and tobacco-free policies can be custom structured for your type of organization. Well-Ahead provides resources and technical assistance to organizations working to implement place-based policies to geaux tobacco-free.

Smoke-Free Public Housing

Living in a smoke-free home is one of the best things you can do for your family’s health. As a result of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development federal rule, all housing authorities with public housing across the country are required to go smoke-free!

For the organizations that rent single family or multi-family dwellings, taking a stand against smoking can help with improving the health of residents and their families. In addition, a smoke-free policy can help reduce turnaround times for vacant units, lessen the risk of fire and lower the cost of maintenance for organizations.

As part of our commitment to reducing secondhand smoke, Well-Ahead connects organizations to public housing resources that can help to implement and maintain a smoke-free policy.

Secondhand Smoke Resources

Public Housing Resources


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking & Tobacco Use. Secondhand Smoke Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/index.htm