Risks of secondhand smoke and vapor
Limiting secondhand smoke exposure protects everyone’s health:
- Secondhand smoke is a mixture of nicotine and toxic chemicals. It's exhaled from a person who is smoking a product such as cigarettes, hookah or marijuana.
- Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals.
- Secondhand smoke causes about 47,000 adult and 400 infant deaths in the U.S. every year.
- No safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke exists.
Regulations prohibit smoking in indoor, public places and places of employment. This includes but it not limited to smoking a:
Local and state laws protect you from exposure to secondhand smoke:
- Smoking in Public Places Act—Washington State RCW 70.160 which prohibits smoking in many public places, including indoor worksites, bars and restaurants.
- Smoking in Public Places Regulations—Tacoma-Pierce County Environmental Health Code, Chapter 8.
- Initiative 502—Allows the recreational use of marijuana in private places.
- Restrictions on the Sale, Use and Availability of Electronic Smoking Devices—Tacoma-Pierce County Environmental Health Code, Chapter 9.
- Washington State Vapor Products—Washington State RCW 70.345.
We have the authority to enforce state and local regulations. Businesses that allow smoking and vaping are subject to:
- Civil penalties.
- Re-inspection fees.
- Additional legal action.
Have you seen people violating vapor product or smoking regulations? Report your complaint online or call (253) 798-6400.
Because of funding cuts, we no longer respond to all complaints of smoking in public places.
- For information, questions or complaints about smoking in public places or worksites contact Angela Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 442-0352.
- For no smoking or vaping signs call (253) 798-6400.
- Smoke-Free Housing—Efforts in Pierce County and apartment complexes that prohibit smoking.