Scientists, as well as ordinary folks, now know that smoking is not healthy. Scientists probably know it even before when smoking was a trend, and everybody was doing it. The tobacco industry is powerful, and they were fighting the truth to come out until a few years ago when government-backed researches proved that tobacco could lead to cancer and not only by directly smoking it, but also secondhand smoking is cancerous.
Because of those findings governments all over the world ban smoking in public places, but still, we have some night bars where smoking is allowed. After reading this article, I hope you will stop visiting bars that allow smoking.
What is Secondhand Smoke?
There are two types of secondhand smoke. Mainstream smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker while sidestream smoke is the smoke coming out from cigarette, cigar or pipe. Sidestream smoking is way more dangerous than mainstream smoking because it has smaller particles that can be adsorbed by human cells much easier. Sidestream smoke is extremely carcinogenic, and that’s why you should avoid staying in the room with burning cigarettes and smokers exhaling tobacco smoke.
Secondhand smoking is also called passive smoking. When a non smoking person is exposed to a tobacco smoke involuntary, then that is called secondhand smoking or passive smoking. Such smoking is dangerous just like the first hand smoking only people who are secondhand smoking are doing it involuntarily.
Why is secondhand smoke a problem to your health?
As already stated, secondhand smoking is as dangerous as first-hand smoking, and the secondhand smoker is exposed to thousands of chemicals including those that are causing cancer. Secondhand smoking can cause lung cancer. People who have never light a cigarette can get lung cancer just from secondhand smoking.
Unfortunately, the list of cancers doesn’t stop on lung cancer if you are exposed to secondhand smoking you may be getting brain, stomach, breast, larynx, pharynx, bladder, rectum and nasal sinuses cancer. Children exposed to secondhand smoking can get leukemia, lymphoma, liver cancer, and brain tumors.
All the information about secondhand smoking dangers are well researched, and you can get more details from cancer.org and cdc.gov website. Both websites cancer.org and cdc.gov have only one goal in their agenda, and that is to save lives and protect people. In this case, the enemy is tobacco and secondhand smoke.
Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiovascular Disease
The major problem with inhaling tobacco smoke involuntary is the adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. The compromised cardiovascular system can cause stroke and other heart diseases.
Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke have up to 30% chance to develop heart disease. If you are secondhand smoker risk for stroke raises up to 30%. Secondhand smoke is found guilty for more than 8 000 deaths from stroke every year.
Secondhand Smoke Causes Lung Cancer
Everyone knows that people who smoke have a high chance of getting lung cancer. But you probably don’t know that there is a 30% risk of developing lung cancer if you are only exposed to secondhand smoke and you have never light a cigarette on your own. Only in the U.S. every year over 7000 people die from lung cancer, and these people are all secondhand smokers.
Reason for such high risks and many people dying from lung cancer is because there is not a big difference between non voluntary smoking and people who smoke. Both groups are exposed to identical chemicals and poisons. Even if you are exposed to secondhand smoke for a brief time, you can set the lung cancer process. But just like with the smoking, the more you are exposed to the smoke risk factor for developing lung cancer grows.
Secondhand Smoke Causes SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the syndrome every mother is afraid off. SIDS happen in the first year, and it is unexplained and unexpected death of an otherwise healthy child. But some correlations link secondhand smoke and increased risk of SIDS.
Because of that knowledge health department announces risks of SIDS in a woman who is smoking during pregnancy as well as infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth. Dangerous chemicals in smoke appear to have a negative effect on the children’s brain which is in charge of breathing regulation.
Children who die from SIDS have a higher nicotine concentration than the kids who died from other problems. If you are the parent, you can reduce risk from SIDS by not smoking when pregnant, never smoke around the baby and always put the baby on its back during the sleep.
Secondhand Smoke Harms Children
If you think that SIDS is the only problem for your children and that you only need to be careful in the first year of your newborn baby you are wrong. Older children who are exposed to secondhand smoke get sick more often. Lung grow in those children is reduced, and they have high risks of getting bronchitis and pneumonia. Children with asthma need to be extremely careful and never be exposed to secondhand smoke because such smoke can trigger an asthma attack. A severe asthma attack is life-threatening. It is also proven that children whose parents are smoking are having all kind of ear problems.
Thankfully there are some things you as a parent can do. You can never allow anyone to smoke in or around your home. Never allow anyone to smoke in the car. Only allow your children to go to tobacco-free public places. Some countries have strict laws about smoking, be careful because there is a huge difference between a no smoking restaurant and a restaurant with no smoking section. No smoking section public places will not protect you from secondhand smoke, and everything written above will apply to you and your family.
What can be done about secondhand smoke?
Government is already doing a lot and smoking is in a downtrend. Many states have clean indoor law policy for public places. But you as a person smoker or nonsmoker you should act on your own. If you are not a smoker then just avoid places where people smoke and never allow anyone to smoke in your house or near you or your family. If you are a smoker, for god’s sake don’t smoke in the house and never expose your children and family to your smoking habit.
What can I do to avoid secondhand smoke?
If your home is already invaded by secondhand smoke, you can do some things to reduce the exposure. You can open windows and let the smoke go out. Never keep ashtrays inside. If you are visiting friends, who are smoking try to stay outside as long as possible and avoid entering the smokers nest at all cost. If smoking is allowed at your work, then quit, trust me it is better to quit your current job than getting lung cancer, after all, you can find work where smoking is not allowed easily. If job quitting is not an option then ask for a spot among non smokers, it is your right to stay away from people who smoke as far away as possible. Always ask for the nonsmoking room when staying in a hotel or apartment. Be careful of thirdhand smoke which is a smoke that is caught on clothes. If you ever get near a smoker, you can smell all the toxins hanging on his clothes. Cloths filled with toxins from cigarette can easily spread through a whole room, and you can be secondhand smoking even if nobody was actually smoking in the room.
How can air purifier help me with secondhand smoke?
An air purifier is an excellent device which has powers to remove smoke from your home. Even if a bad smoker gets in your home and spread his smoking pollution all over the place, you can then turn an air purifier to the maximum speed, and in just a few minutes a bad and dangerous secondhand smoke will be gone. If you can, try to place air purifier as close as possible to the smoker, in fact, try to make him exhale smoke in air purifier direction that way an air purifier can catch the smoke at its source. Having a decent air purifier is the best way to reduce cigarette smoke in your room.
Smoking is on downtrend thanks to the government and everyday commercials who spread awareness about tobacco smoke and its dangers. Every day there is less and fewer people smoking, and by that trend, secondhand smoke is also lower than it was a few years ago. Unfortunately, people with weak willpower who are extremely hooked on nicotine cannot quit smoking. If you are one of those people, then I hope this article will help you quit smoking or at least try to smoke outside without harming anyone. And remember pregnant woman, infants and children are the groups that are most affected by secondhand smoking, help them stay free from secondhand smoke by not smoking in their presence.