Secondhand smoke is essentially smoke inhaled by persons that aren’t directly smoking something. 

For example, if someone is smoking tobacco next to you and you’re forced to breathe it in, that’s secondhand smoke. The same goes for cigars, pipes, and other sorts of smoking implements. 

That’s why it’s called “passive smoking.” And it does pose health risks and certain dangers to this.  

That being said, secondhand smoke is a health risk, and while people have been smoking for ages before it become considered taboo or even went to courts, as technology started to evolve, people began to learn that secondhand smoking is actually harmful, and it wasn’t really a big issue until the 90’s. 

According to studies conducted, secondhand smoke is actually just as harmful as smoking in some cases, especially if they’ve been exposed to this for a long time, and soon lawsuits that involve second smoke were being filed. 

The problem with this though is that it’s hard to prove, so if you do try to prove a lawsuit and liability, you do need a good personal injury attorney

Sidestream Vs. Mainstream Smoking 

A person who deals with secondhand smoke is inhaling both mainstream and sidestream smoke.

Mainstream is smoke that’s exhaled by someone smoking, and sidestream is from a cigarette, pipe, and whatnot.

The main difference besides origination is that sidestream actually has more carcinogens, and is much more toxic than that of mainstream smoke.  But do understand that there is no “safe” exposure for secondhand smoke, they’re all pretty bad anyways. 

The Risks of Secondhand Smoke 

Secondhand smoke does create a lot of risks, including a bigger risk for the following: 

  • Cancer 
  • Heart disease and stroke 
  • Ear and lung infections 
  • Immunosuppressed, which can lead to more sickness 
  • Asthma or allergies 

These are all related to secondhand, so remember that this is actually a good way to see just how harmful smoking is for someone. 

Your Options 

There are various legal actions you can take if you’ve been exposed to secondhand smoke.  While the legalities depend on the laws of the state and case facts, you can of course try one of the following: 

  • Bring a suit, usually assault and battery 
  • Join a class action for secondhand smoke 
  • Report the smoker to agencies especially if they’re in certain locations 
  • Bring civil claims upfront so that they can be discussed with attorneys 
passive smoking concept, second hand smoking, involuntary smoking

What about suing tobacco companies? 

Well, for a lot of people, this may work, it’s better to join a class action, since these are hard to prove that secondhand smoke caused the illness, but a class action has more plaintiffs, and more evidence that proves the case. 

A person can also suit the tobacco companies on behalf of someone else, such as maybe a loved one’s estate which is sometimes used in place of wrongful death which isn’t feasible. 

An alternative is of course, a mass tort claim, where they’ve proven to be much more successful than just an individual claim. The major difference is the plaintiffs are typically selected from the same area, treated like individuals, and done from there. those in class actions will come from anywhere and be treated as one specific class, regardless of the area. 

A lot of times, the types of lawsuits that are brought up are of course those that include negligence, fraud, the liability of products, and consumer protection. 

If you think you’ve suffered from secondhand smoke and want to file a claim, you should most definitely do so by talking to a lawyer and seeing what you can do. 

Related Posts