Designated Smoking Areas

Why am I being warned about potential exposure to chemicals in designated smoking areas?

  • Tobacco smoke is on the Proposition 65 list because it causes cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  • Nicotine in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other chemicals released in aerosol and vapor from e-cigarettes are also on the Proposition 65 list because they cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  • Proposition 65 requires businesses to determine if they must provide a warning about exposures to listed chemicals.

Designated smoking areas can expose you to chemicals on the Proposition 65 list.

Silhouette of a lit cigarette with smoke
  • Tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars, pipes, cigarillos and hand-rolled cigarettes contains several thousand different compounds.
  • When e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, and other vaping devices are used, they can release chemicals in aerosol.
  • Examples of tobacco-related chemicals that can be found in designated smoking areas include acetaldehyde, acrylamide, arsenic, 1,3‑butadiene, benzene, cadmium, carbon monoxide, hexavalent chromium, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, nickel, nicotine, and styrene.
  • Marijuana smoke contains many of these same compounds, and is on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals that cause cancer.

How does exposure to chemicals occur in designated smoking areas?

  • During pregnancy, some chemicals in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosols can pass from mother to baby.

How can I reduce my exposure to chemicals in designated smoking areas?

  • If you visit designated smoking areas, stay no longer than necessary.
  • Do not allow children to spend time in or near designated smoking areas.
  • If you smoke tobacco or use tobacco or nicotine products, try to quit.

For more information:

General Fact Sheets and Resources

Scientific Information on Tobacco Smoke

Proposition 65

  • California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
    Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Updated February 2018

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