Second-Hand Smoke in Details
Tobacco is a silent killer which accounts for more than 6 million deaths on a yearly basis. This figure is far more than deaths caused by HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. If this trend continues, tobacco will become the leading cause of deaths. It will account for 8 million deaths on an annual basis by the time we reach the year 2030. Passive smoking is also the kind of smoking which accounts for 10% deaths relating to tobacco. You may not be aware that passive smoking is as hazardous as smoking. Many people are ignorant of the fact that if they inhale the fumes of tobacco or second-hand smoke sitting near to a smoker, they may get lung cancer. Second-hand smoking is also called passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoking.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke Is the Mixture of 2 Kinds of Smokes
Environmental tobacco smoke is the mixture of 2 kinds of smokes, namely, the mainstream smoke that is directly exhaled by the smoker and the sidestream smoke. Sidestream smoke refers to the smoke emitted due to the burning of pipe, hookah or a cigarette. When the end of the cigarette burns, it emits fumes, and a passive smoker inhales that. Sidestream smoke has a greater percentage of toxic compounds and cancer-causing carcinogens. Even the particles of compounds are smaller in the sidestream smoke than the mainstream smoke.
So, for the sidestream smoke particles, it is easy to get into the lungs. It damages body cells at a rapid pace. When you are exposed to second-hand smoke, it is known as passive smoking or involuntary smoking. It is a shocking revelation that the ones who are passive smokers, they inhale the toxic compounds and deadly substances just like a smoker. If you are exposed to smoking zone, get out of it. If you inhale more of such smoke, there will be a higher level of harmful chemicals in the body.
What Can Happen When You Inhale Second-Hand Smoke?
As passive smoking is almost equivalent to active smoking, passive smoking causes cancer. SHS or second-hand smoke can cause an entry of harmful chemicals into the body. In fact, there is no safe level of inhalation here. Any inhalation of tobacco fumes increases the chances of cancer. As there are more than 7000 harmful chemicals in tobacco, exposure to the smoke of tobacco can cause cancer. The ones who have never smoked in their life, they can also get lung cancer. There might be cancer in the brain, pharynx, larynx, lungs, bladder, kidney and others. Women are more likely to have breast cancer if they inhale SHS. Children who inhale SGS are likely to get liver cancer, leukemia, brain tumor or lymphoma.
There Are Other Consequences of Smoking
Apart from the diseases mentioned earlier caused due to SHS, there may be several other consequences of smoking. SHS is harmful in several ways. It may severely impact the blood vessels or the heart of the passive smoker. So, even if the person is a non-smoker, he/she may get a stroke or a heart attack. SHS is also linked to emotional changes and mood swings in the person. It is directly linked to depression since slowly and steadily the person is getting used to the fumes. Then, as he is not a smoker, there will be depressive moments for the person. SHS affects mental health and well being of the person.
SHS Can Also Affect Children Health
If you smoke, do not smoke in front of your kids. Smoking will harm your children in the same way as it harms you. It is revealed through the studies that kids whose parents smoke are more likely to fall sick. Such children have more lung infection than others. In extreme cases, the child can cough or wheeze more often. He/she may have an ear infection and even shortness of breath. There can be asthma attacks due to exposure to tobacco fumes. Kids can show symptoms of asthma even if there was nothing previously. In the initial stage, such symptoms may appear minor, but very quickly they can add up to become more severe. The child has to go through extreme discomfort while you have to bear the medical charges, take your child to the doctor frequently. It can also increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Common Places of SHS
SHS is pretty common in certain areas like office or workplace, in the public places, home, in the car. For an adult, the common source of second-hand smoke is usually the workplace. There may be smokers around you smoking tobacco. Any exposure to SHS must be reduced to the minimum level as per the guidelines of The Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The best way to prevent exposure to SHS would be creating smoke-free zones. Smokers must be separated from the non-smokers while the rooms should be cleaned frequently. Do not allow your employees to smoke in the workplace. No matter how hard you try to clean the space, it will not matter till you restrict everyone from smoking.
An anti-smoking banner can prevent others from smoking at your place. Similarly, public places like shopping centers, restaurants, pubs, parks and schools are the areas where you may see people smoking. School management must restrict others from smoking on the school campus. You must prohibit it completely for the health and safety of your students. Giving up smoking makes no sense if you are exposed to SHS.
Shocking Facts on Second-Hand Smoking You Should Know
You may not be aware of second-hand smoking facts. Indeed, the tobacco facts can shock you completely:
- It is shocking to learn that the person smoking near to you only inhales 15% of the tobacco fumes. The rest of 85% fumes are released into the air. It is inhaled by others.
- If you sit with the smoker inside the closed room for 2-3 hours, it means that you have smoked 4 cigarettes.
- 1 person out of 8 non-smokers dies due to exposure to tobacco fumes. So, if you have any family member who is given to smoking, you are also likely to suffer a lung cancer.
- When it comes to the content of SHS, it has nearly 4000 harmful chemicals, 200 dangerous toxins, and 40 cancerous agents.
- SHS is the leading cause of a substance which results in Class A Carcinogen.
- Environmental tobacco smoke or ETS causes lung cancer or cardiac diseases that are seen in many.
- A nonsmoking lady with the smoker spouse is at 90% greater risk of developing cardiac diseases. She is more susceptible to getting lung cancer than those who live with non-smokers.
- Pregnant ladies living with smoker spouses are at a greater risk of giving stillbirths. Miscarriages, stillbirths and lower weight of infants are common among those who live with smokers. There is more chance of sudden infant death syndrome.
Inhaling Second-hand smoke is as terrifying as smoking. It is important to educate oneself and avoid areas that are smoking zones. Once in a while hanging out is not dangerous but if you are used to visiting smoking zones, just avoid it.
The Various Effects of Passive Smoking
Anyone diagnosed with lung disease may feel that he/she has never smoked and how come the disease is found. Well, it may be that you are a passive smoker. If you live with a smoker, know one thing that living with a smoker is more dangerous than being a smoker. It doubles the change of deadly diseases since you are inhaling mainstream smoke along with sidestream smoke. Sidestream smoke is emitted when the tip of the cigarette burns. The following are some of the effects of passive smoking:
- The arteries of your heart age at a rapid pace. Owing to the presence of carbon monoxide, the heart needs to work harder to pump in oxygen. There is a scarcity of oxygen in the blood due to the presence of carbon monoxide. This directly increases the blood pressure leading to a stroke.
- Lungs are also susceptible to lung diseases characterized by a cough and cold. It can lead to life-threatening asthmatic attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Second-hand smoke can cause lung disease, and this is a shocking revelation. The airways become narrow leading to more production of mucus. Bacteria and viruses in lungs may cause infection in the lungs including pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
- The immune system also gets compromised and weakened. So, it cannot fight out germs and foreign particles. Second-hand smoke might also kill lymphocytes making it hard for the immunity system to function.
- Cigarette smoking can also impair the digestive system. The one who is exposed to tobacco fumes, he may also have problems in digestive system at the later stage.
Any exposure to tobacco fumes or second-hand smoke might cause the same diseases as smoking. Quit smoking tips will not do any good if you live with someone who smokes. Passive smoking causes cancer.