What is Second Hand Smoking?
Secondhand smoking is also called passive smoking. It occurs when non-smokers inhale the smoke produced by smokers. People don’t have the intention of inhaling this smoke. It simply spreads throughout the adjacent area, and anyone who is present will inhale it.
Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can cause serious health problems in the long run. Many organizations, including the American Lung Association, launch campaigns to explain the health problems that result from smoking. These campaigns are specially created to help all Americans reduce their smoking habit. It is very important to let all active smokers know about the negative effects their habit produces.
But people should also notice some secondhand effects that can be triggered. The exposure can be significant for certain people, especially those who live with active smokers. In fact, most of the smoke doesn’t get absorbed by the smoker’s lungs. Instead, the smoke is going to escape to the air, so it will be inhaled by other people. You can find more about air quality here.
How bad is second hand smoke? – What Are The Negative Effects of Secondhand Smoke?
There are more than 4,000 different chemical compounds that can be found in tobacco smoke. More than 50 compounds are believed to be very dangerous for human health. These can cause cancer in most people. There are several main compounds that are very harmful to our body.
The first dangerous chemical compound is hydrogen cyanide. It is a poisonous gas that is usually used in pest control or chemical weapons. Benzene is another harmful chemical compound that can be found in gasoline. Tobacco smoke may also contain formaldehyde, which can cause cancer. Carbon monoxide from secondhand smoke is quite similar to the gas from car exhaust. Most chemical compounds can cause some negative side effects in the human body. When people inhale a lot of secondhand smoke, they are going to increase their health risks.
Some Statistics on Secondhand Smoke Exposure
- 126 million American people are exposed to secondhand smoke in their daily life.
- Secondhand smoke may cause more than 50,000 deaths in nonsmokers in the United States every year.
- Nonsmokers are going to have an increased possibility of developing some diseases, such as lung cancer or heart disease, when they are exposed to secondhand smoke.
- There are more than 3,000 deaths of nonsmokers that are caused by lung disease every year.
- About 46,000 nonsmokers, who live with smokers, die every year because of heart disease.
- There are about 150,000 – 300,000 children under 18 months old who get respiratory infections from secondhand smoke. Some of them need to be hospitalized to receive further treatment.
- Many children suffer from severe asthma when they live with smokers.
- Secondhand smoke can cause a lot of health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
Some Health Effects Related with Secondhand Smoking
Cancer is believed to be a severe problem that is related to secondhand smoking. Lung cancer is the most common type. There are some other types of cancer that may happen in people who inhale secondhand smoke, for example, cervical cancer or breast cancer.
2. Heart disease
This is another negative side effect that can be caused by secondhand smoke. It only takes about 10 minutes for tobacco smoke to start damaging all cells in the heart. Smoke exposure can also increase the probability of getting a heart attack. This is related to the ability of the smoke to cause a blockage in a blood vessel. When a blood vessel is blocked with some chemical compounds from tobacco smoke, it may not be able to deliver blood to the heart properly. This is the reason why people have heart attacks after inhaling secondhand smoke for a long period.
Children are more sensitive than adults because they are still growing. They need to breathe at a faster rate than adults. As a result, most children are going to inhale tobacco smoke from the environment very quickly. Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is one of the most common problems caused by secondhand smoke. There are also some respiratory problems that can be caused by this smoke, for example, pneumonia and bronchitis. Some children may suffer from severe asthma attacks after inhaling a lot of tobacco smoke.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause some problems, including low birth weight, premature delivery, SIDS, learning problems, mental retardation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and many other problems. Cigarettes can be very dangerous for all pregnant women and their unborn babies. You may also want to check some info on how to stop secondhand smoking in your home or find a smoke air purifier to help you create better indoor air quality.