secondhand smoke


Definition of secondhand smoke

: tobacco smoke that is exhaled by smokers or is given off by burning tobacco and is inhaled by persons nearby

Examples of secondhand smoke in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kelley said that that are all kinds of existing public health rules in society to keep everyone safe, such as wearing seatbelts, following speed limits and not smoking in public places where people would have to breathe secondhand smoke. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs tweets against wearing masks, gives other questionable COVID-19 advice," 10 Sep. 2020 But so are lots of other things: some pregnant people smoke cigarettes or are exposed to secondhand smoke, while others may have a high-stress life and still others may not have access to appropriate nutrition. Popular Science, "Should pregnant people not drink coffee? The answer is complicated.," 25 Aug. 2020 As smoking rates fall, doctors have seen an increase in lung cancer cases among nonsmokers with possible risk factors such as exposure to radon, asbestos, secondhand smoke, or air pollution. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Deaths from the most common lung cancer are falling fast, hinting at the impact of improved treatment," 12 Aug. 2020 And non-smokers should steer clear of secondhand smoke, regardless of COVID-19. Claire Gillespie,, "Can You Get COVID-19 From Secondhand Smoke? Here's What Experts Say," 10 Aug. 2020 That's led to a decrease in complications caused by secondhand smoke, as well. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Experts Want Fossil Fuel Warning Labels At the Pump," 5 Apr. 2020 North America had the most favorable secondhand smoke index: around 86 smokers for each death. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Secondhand smoke kills one person for every 52 smokers, study says. That's a million people worldwide each year," 17 Mar. 2020 The narrow focus on secondhand smoke and fiscal effects greatly understates the harm that smokers impose on others. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future We can harness peer pressure to uphold social values," 7 Feb. 2020 Scientists have warned about the dangers of secondhand smoke for decades. Erica Tennenhouse, Science | AAAS, "‘Thirdhand’ smoke can expose moviegoers to the emissions of up to 10 cigarettes," 4 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secondhand smoke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of secondhand smoke

1891, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for secondhand smoke

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The first known use of secondhand smoke was in 1891

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Statistics for secondhand smoke

Cite this Entry

“Secondhand smoke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for secondhand smoke

secondhand smoke


English Language Learners Definition of secondhand smoke

: smoke from a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc., that can be inhaled by people who are near the person who is smoking

secondhand smoke

sec·​ond·​hand smoke | \ ˌsek-ᵊn(d)-ˌhan(d)- How to pronounce secondhand smoke (audio) \

Medical Definition of secondhand smoke

: tobacco smoke that is exhaled by a smoker or is given off by burning tobacco (as of a cigarette) and is inhaled by persons nearby

called also passive smoke

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