Department Continues Educating on Secondhand Smoke Dangers

August 30, 2019

Department Continues Educating on Secondhand Smoke Dangers

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is helping residents learn about secondhand smoke dangers to encourage them to protect themselves and their families by avoiding exposure.

“The Surgeon General and other medical experts have been telling us for years there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure,” said Joe D’Eufemia, Tobacco Prevention Program manager with WDH. “We know now even brief exposure can be harmful to health.”

D’Eufemia said there are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and ammonia. “Among the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer,” he said. “Since 1964, an estimated 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.”

“Many people have seen our recent secondhand smoke campaign focused on parents who smoke around their children,” D’Eufemia said. “Our new campaign is called ‘No Amount is Okay,’ and is meant to illustrate how harmful secondhand smoke can be in surprising ways.”

The campaign, produced by Cheyenne-based advertising agency Warehouse Twenty One, creatively illustrates secondhand smoke dangers by introducing small amounts of very harmful items to foods that are normally delicious. For example, one of the advertisements shows rat poison being sprinkled on an otherwise appealing donut.

More information about secondhand smoke can be found online at The overall advertising effort includes mass media channels such as television, print and cinema, as well as digital channels such as YouTube and Facebook.

D’Eufemia said he believes there is more work needed in Wyoming to help people learn about secondhand smoke risks and effects. “In a recent survey, 37 percent of adults said they breathed secondhand smoke in an indoor or outdoor public place in the past seven days, and 19 percent said they breathed secondhand smoke in an indoor or outdoor area of their workplace in the past 7 days,” he said.

For people who want to quit tobacco use, the Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program (WQTP), offered by WDH, can help. Interested residents may call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit online. In addition to free nicotine replacement therapy and Chantix, free phone or online support is available.