What is Passive Smoking?
When someone breathes in a combination of smoke coming from the end of a lit cigarette or cigar, and the smoke exhaled by a smoker; it’s referred to as passive smoking. This smoke is called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke.
Passive smoking has several effects on the body. Scientific evidence about passive smoking highlights the dangers of secondhand smoke. Here are some facts about secondhand smoke:
- Non-smokers that are exposed to secondhand smoke are usually at an increased risk for developing lung cancer
- Secondhand smoke can lead to premature death in non-smokers
- Non-smokers living with a smoker are about 20% to 30% more likely to suffer from lung cancer
- The secondhand smoke contains over 7000 different chemicals, 69 of which are carcinogenic
- Passive smoking raises the chance of developing coronary heart disease by about 25% to 40%, which stands at the same level as that of a smoker
- There’s no known safe level in terms of exposure to secondhand smoke
- Your health can start improving immediately when you quit smoking
Why Secondhand Smoke is Dangerous
Passive smoking can be very damaging, even though the passive smoker doesn’t breathe in as much smoke as a smoker does. The answer lies in the fact that;
- Once tobacco in a cigarette is burnt, the side stream smoke (smoke burning at the end of a cigarette) can be more toxic than the one the smoker inhales.
- Low doses of tobacco smoke are all that’s needed to trigger a series of events in the body that can cause heart disease
- The side stream smoke might even get more toxic as it goes from fresh to stale
- Research highlights that the exposure to secondhand smoke for several minutes or a few hours can be as damaging as chronic smoking to the heart
But what can you do about secondhand smoke if you are still smoking? Well, if you are still not ready to quit smoking, you should at least consider how you could reduce the impact of your smoking to those around you, or many people have switched to e cigarettes which contains eliquid which does not have an effect on passive smoking.
Keep in mind that cigarette smoke moves around in the air and it can easily be inhaled by those around you. Moreover, the impact of secondhand smoke to those around you can be quite significant, and it’s not only about the amount of smoke here; but the type of smoke and the damaging effects it can produce in the body, even in small amounts.
The following are some quick tips on how you can reduce the impact of passive smoking on others:
Avoid smoking in the house at all costs, to reduce the impact of passive smoking to the health of your family. Wearing a “smoking jacket” is a great idea, which you can take off before entering your home, and perhaps change your clothes or take a shower.
Take your time to plan your journey on quitting smoking. The ideal way of protecting the people around you from the dangers of secondhand smoke is making quitting your number one priority. Why not start today?