Printable secondhand smoke fact sheets are available through the links below.
You can also learn more about the Freedom the Breathe Act by visiting http://www.health.state.mn.us/freedomtobreathe
More that just an annoyance, exposure to secondhand smoke poses significant health risks. Exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for at least 3,000 lung cancer deaths and at least 46,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year. 
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. 
Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma attacks in children. Asthmatic children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have worse and more frequent attacks than those who are not.  And an estimated 430 infants exposed to secondhand smoke die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) each year. 
The annual direct health care cost of treating tobacco-related illnesses in the United States is estimated to total more than $9.5 billion.  Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke also cost $92 billion a year in worker productivity losses.  Employees who smoke have twice the lost production time per week for personal health reasons than workers who never smoked – at a cost of $27 billion to U.S. employers. 
In Minnesota, a 2007 study found that secondhand smoke cost Minnesotans $215.7 million annually in health care costs. The study also found that at least 581 Minnesotans died every year from secondhand smoke-caused diseases, and 66,000 sought medical treatment for them.
Secondhand smoke contains 11 known cancer-causing agents  and 250 known toxins . Research has shown that indoor smoking policies significantly reduce levels of airborne cancer-causing chemicals. Hennepin County’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance helped reduce harmful air pollution in bars and restaurants by 99 percent. 
Independent, scientific economic research consistently proves that smoke-free policies have no net negative impact on the hospitality industry. Business tax receipts for New York City restaurants and bars increased 8.7 percent after implementation of that city’s smoke-free law, and bar and restaurant employment went up by 10,600 jobs.  After passage of a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air law, California bars and restaurants had 218,300 more employees in 2005 than they did in 1995.  In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that “smoke-free policies and regulations do not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry.” 
In 2007, the Minnesota Institute of Public Health reported that smoke-free policies have caused no apparent economic harm to Minnesota communities. The Institute’s study analyzed economic data from seven Minnesota communities and from the state of Minnesota as a whole. Findings showed that hospitality industry sales remained consistent with established trends from the previous decade, and that the number of hospitality establishments actually increased in communities that implemented smoke-free policies. 
A statewide survey conducted in December 2006 showed that a strong majority of Minnesotans (69 percent) support a comprehensive state law protecting all workers from the effects of secondhand smoke. The survey found broad support among Minnesota voters, regardless of their geographic location, income level, age, gender or political affiliation.
In Minnesota communities that went smoke-free in 2005 and 2006, support for ordinances now exceeds 70 percent. More than 80 percent consider secondhand smoke a health hazard, and more than 70 percent strongly agree that restaurants and bars are healthier. [14, 15]
Minnesota’s medical and public health communities are united in their support for comprehensive smoke-free policies, and in November 2006, an overwhelming majority of Mankato voters (69 percent) voted to keep Mankato’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in place.
 California Environmental Protection Agency. Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant. 2005
 Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of Surgeon General. 2006.
 Behan DF, Eriksen MP, Lin Y. Economic Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke. 2005.
 Armour BS, Woollery T, Malarcher A, Pechacek TF, Husten C. Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses – United States, 1997-2001. JAMA. 2005
 Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, Morganstein D. Lost productive work time costs from health conditions in the United States: Results from the American productivity audit. J of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2003.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Health Care Costs and Secondhand Smoke. 2007
 National Cancer Institute. Risks Associated With Smoking Cigarettes With Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. 2001.
 National Toxicology Program. 11th Report on Carcinogens. 2005.
 Griffin T, Bohac D, Schillo BA. Indoor Air Quality in Bars and Restaurants Before and After Implementation of Smoke-Free Ordinances in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. ClearWay Minnesota 2005.
 The State of Smoke-Free New York City: A One-Year Review. New York City Department of Finance, Health & Mental Hygiene, Small Business Service and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. 2004.
 Industry Employment & Labor Force – By Annual Average. California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division. 2006.
 Minnesota Institute of Public Health. A Research Study: The Measurable Economic Impact of Certain Smoke-Free Ordinances in Minnesota. 2007.
 New survey finds majority of Minnesotans support a strong statewide smoke-free law [press release]. ClearWay Minnesota. 2007.
 One Year Later, Support for Smoke-Free Ordinances Remains Strong, Surveys Report [press release]. ClearWay Minnesota. 2006.
 Poll: Support for New St. Paul Smoke-Free Law is Strong [press release]. ClearWay Minnesota. 2006.