By the way, doctor: Is the smell of cigarettes the same as secondhand smoke?

Published: October, 2006

Q. A family friend just started smoking again. He doesn't smoke while my young daughter and I are there, but his house is saturated with the smell. Is this secondhand smoke? Should I be concerned?

A. Secondhand smoke is defined as the combination of sidestream smoke, which comes from the burning end of a cigarette, and mainstream smoke, which is smoke exhaled by the smoker. While the smell of smoke doesn't necessarily correlate with the amount of secondhand smoke in a room, you and your daughter are being exposed to some level of smoke toxins.

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