This article The Surgeons General's Report on Secondhand Smoke:

"The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than we previously thought," Carmona said in his report. "The scientific evidence is now indisputable: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults." This is a bold claim, but the evidence backs up Carmona.


Children are especially vulnerable. Because they are still developing physically and tend to have higher breathing rates -- and, in turn, higher quantities of smoke entering their bodies -- children are especially at risk around secondhand smoke. According to the Environmental protections agency, secondhand smoke will:

Increase the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma. Cause between 150,000 and 300,000 lower-respiratory-tract infections among children (under 18 months of age). Be responsible for respiratory-tract infections that result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations of children each year.

and this article (Protect Yourself From Secondhand Smoke) mention

Take vitamin C. It may have something that counteracts the effects of smoking in the lungs. ...

Drink Green tea - same as above.

So, does eating Vitamin C and drinking green tea helps to counteract the effects of secondhand smoke?

  • 1
    The Surgeon General's Report on Secondhand Smoke has been thourougly discredited as very unscientific. They didn't, for example, rule out any lung ailments from other causes such as poisoning, other environmental exposures (such as being a smoker themselves or asbestos), or basically anything else. If you were a smoker and you died of something lung-related it was because of second-hand smoke. Not scientific. You can get this information by reading the report. Oct 20, 2014 at 19:44
  • @jbarker2160: Please turn this into an answer with appropriate references (e.g. who discredited it? does this alleged flaw really undermine the outcome.) Please avoid pseudo-answers in the comments.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 21, 2014 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


In general, there is no conclusive answer.

This is because in the first article, Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, a doctor at the Taussig Cancer Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, expressed caution at the findings

'Certainly no one has shown a definitive association between drinking green tea and lung cancer," he tells WebMD. And some antioxidants have not borne out as cancer preventives.

also, the second and third article mention that there is no significant evidence that shows that green tea counteract the effects of of secondhand smoke even though the fourth article by Andrew Weil, M.D mention that green tea help to protect the body from common toxic.

First Article: Green Tea reduce lung cancer risk

While Lin says the best way to avoid lung cancer is to stop smoking, green tea appears to reduce risk. "Green tea can protect them from lung cancer risk, a cup or more a day," she says.

Second Article: The effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate, N-acetylcysteine and green tea on tobacco smoke-induced lung tumors in strain A/J mice.

Green tea extract did not reduce lung tumor multiplicity in animals treated with a single dose of NNK.

Third Article: Green tea extract supplement inhibition of HMGB1 release in rats exposed to cigarette smoke.

However, treatment with GTE (green tea extract) did not reduce cotinine levels in all groups.

Third article: Concerned About Secondhand Smoke

To help minimize the effects of secondhand smoke, try equipping your home or at least individual rooms with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. I also suggest doing breathing exercises in a smoke free area and taking saunas and steam baths to help rid your body of toxins (remember to drink plenty of water when you do). Increase your intake of fiber-rich fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Take my daily antioxidant regimen, which includes vitamin C, E, mixed carotenes, and the mineral selenium, to help maintain your body's natural defenses.


In addition, you might try herbs that help the body protect itself from common toxins, especially green tea, ginger, and turmeric. These herbs are readily available in health food stores. Researchers reported that the herbal compounds in this formula can be highly effective in inhibiting the activation of carcinogens in cigarette and environmental smoke

  • 1
    The first report shows correlation, not causality. The answer would be improved by quoting the study. Note: Another expert warned that caution is required and no causality had been found. The second article does not cite any empirical evidence - it is from someone trying to sell a diet.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 21, 2014 at 3:32

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