Smoke-free & Tobacco-free Places

Scientific evidence on the toxicity of secondhand commercial tobacco smoke is both overwhelming and indisputable. The complex mixture of gases and particles that make up secondhand smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke) contains at least 250 chemicals known to be lethal, including more than 50 that can cause cancer. Medical authorities from around the world have concluded that secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer, has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, and causes sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear infections, and asthma attacks in children.

In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure and that regulating smoking through smoke-free laws and policies is the most effective way to protect individuals from exposure. Not only do the U.S. medical and public health communities vigorously support smoke-free policies, but so do public health communities around the globe. The first international public health treaty – the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – requires participating countries to protect their citizens from secondhand smoke. Delegates from countries representing 85 percent of the world’s population have adopted international guidelines for smoking regulation. These guidelines represent the world’s standards for smoking regulations, and include the recommendation that smoke-free laws should completely eliminate smoking in all indoor workplaces and indoor public places.


Featured resource collections are below. Other relevant resources in right sidebar (desktop/tablet), or end of page (mobile).

Playing Cards

Smoke-free Tribal Casinos (2020)

This is a resource to help facilitate education and awareness on adopting smoke-free policies in Tribal casinos.

No-Smoking Table Sign

There is No Constitutional Right to Toke or Smoke (2019)

Policy brief debunking the claim that there is a constitutional “right to smoke” either commercial tobacco or recreational marijuana.

Marijuana and Papers

Marijuana in Multi-Unit Residential Settings (2019)

This fact sheet addresses a few common questions about smoking or vaping marijuana in multi-unit residences, including federally subsidized housing, and describes similarities between smoke-free tobacco and marijuana policies.

High School Students in Class

Commercial Tobacco-Free K-12 School Model Policy: Questions & Answers

Comprehensive model commercial tobacco-free policy for school districts and K-12 schools, with a detailed analysis, in question/answer format, of the reasoning behind each policy provision.