PASSIVE SMOKING : Are u at risk ??
Inhalation of smoke that comes from someone else smoking. Passive smoking is associated with the same array of diseases as actual smoking, with an elevated risk of lung cancer and other diseases.
How bad is passive smoking?
Passive smoking can cause premature death in non-smokers. Passive smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25-40% – almost the same level as a smoker. Second-hand smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals, with 69 cancer-causing chemicals. There is no known safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.
Dangers of Passive Smoking
Just as smokers are exposed to known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and other toxic substances, passive smokers are exposed as well. Secondhand smoke is now considered a class A (the worst) carcinogen.
Passive smoking has been associated with a number of diseases. Some of these include:
Certainly, lung cancer is the first consequence of passive smoking that most people may think of, but the concerns don’t stop here. 7,000 die from lung cancer as a result of secondhand smoke exposure each year and living with someone who smokes increases the risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
Cancers such as head and neck cancers, bladder cancer, and others are elevated in passive smokers as well as active smokers.
Heart disease and Strokes
Secondhand smoke is thought to cause 42,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers in the United States alone each year.
Lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are increased among non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.
Roughly 50,000 to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia occur each year in the U.S. in children under 18 months due to secondhand smoke. Children who live with a smoker and develop these infections are also more likely to need intensive care and ventilator support.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Young children exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Passive smoking (exposure to secondhand smoke) while pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and low-birth-weight babies.
How to avoid secondhand smoke
People may think opening a window or using a fan prevents secondhand smoke exposure. But studies show that toxins from smoke do not go away. They remain in hair, clothes, carpets, and furniture. These toxins are often called “thirdhand smoke.”
The only way to prevent exposure is to avoid places where smoking occurs, particularly inside.
Here are some tips to protect you and your family from secondhand smoke:
- If you smoke, quit. There are many resources to help you. Talk with your health care team about the best options for you.
- Do not smoke or allow people to smoke in your house or car. Ask people who smoke to step outside.
- Find smoke-free restaurants, hotels, and rental cars.
- Ask caregivers and relatives to stop smoking around you and your children.