Quiz: How Bad Is Secondhand Smoke?

How much do you know about secondhand smoke? Take this quiz to learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke.


Your total score is 10 out of 10. Great job! Let's take a look at your answers:

  • A. Smoke that is breathed out by the smoker
  • B. Pollution from smoke stacks and car exhaust
  • C. Smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette
  • D. A and C

Correct Answer: D. A and C
Second hand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette (sidestream smoke) and the smoke breathed out by the smoker (mainstream smoke). It contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including more than 60 known carcinogens, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.

  • A. True
  • B. False

Correct Answer: B. False
Secondhand smoke is the third leading preventable cause of disability and early death (after smoking and alcohol) in the United States. Secondhand smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 50,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the United States.

  • A. True
  • B. False

Correct Answer: A. True
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans.

  • A. Ear infections
  • B. Severe and frequent asthma attacks
  • C. Bronchitis and pneumonia
  • D. All of the above

Correct Answer: D. All of the above
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get bronchitis and pneumonia, frequent and severe asthma attacks, and ear infections. Secondhand smoke causes lung problems, including coughing, too much phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness among school-aged kids.

  • A. Exhaled toxic cloud
  • B. Environmental tobacco smoke
  • C. Passive smoke
  • D. Involuntary smoking

Correct Answer: A. Exhaled toxic cloud
All the others (environmental tobacco smoke, passive smoke, and involuntary smoking) are other names for secondhand smoke.

  • A. Ammonia
  • B. Arsenic
  • C. Cyanide
  • D. Formaldehyde
  • E. All of the above
  • F. None of the above

Correct Answer: E. All of the above
Ammonia, arsenic, cyanide, and formaldehyde are found in secondhand smoke. These are just some of the harmful ingredients found in secondhand smoke.

  • A. True
  • B. False

Correct Answer: B. False
Ventilation and non-smoking sections do not protect people from the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke. According to the 2006 US Surgeon General’s report, eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the ONLY way to completely protect people from secondhand smoke.

  • A. 5 minutes
  • B. 30 minutes
  • C. 3 hours
  • D. 8 hours

Correct Answer: A. 5 minutes
Within 5 minutes of being exposed, the primary artery (aorta) for blood flow from the heart to the body stiffens as much as it does for a smoker who smokes one cigarette.

  • A. Hurt only small businesses
  • B. Hurt small, medium, and large businesses
  • C. Hurt only medium and large businesses
  • D. Improve profits for most businesses

Correct Answer: D. Improve business profits for most businesses
Research shows that clean indoor air laws improve business profits for most businesses. And the laws help smokers quit!

  • A. Lung cancer rates
  • B. Pneumonia requiring hospital admission
  • C. Heart attacks
  • D. Colds and flu in restaurant workers

Correct Answer: C. Heart attacks
Research shows after smoking bans were put into action the number of heart attacks declined in smokers and the risk of a heart attack decreased for non-smokers.

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