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Partnerships & Collaborations

The Environmental Protection Agency's Smoke Free Homes

The EPA established Smoke Free Homes because breathing secondhand smoke can be harmful to children’s health, including increasing the risk of asthma, SIDS, bronchitis and pneumonia and ear infections. Children’s exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:

  • Increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma.
  • Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections for children under 18 months of age.
  • Respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year.

The developing lungs of young children are severely affected by exposure to secondhand smoke for several reasons including that children are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults and have little control over their indoor environments. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking mothers, run the greatest risk of damaging health effects.

Publications: Health measures and health yearbooks, numerous brochures and fact sheets, other EPA publications on environmental health topics and background papers on children’s environmental health. Many publications are free to download.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Indoor Environments Division
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Mail Code 6609J
Washington, DC 20460
202-343-2392 (fax)
202-343-2393 (fax)