Published On: Thu, Sep 9th, 2010

Effects Of Second-Hand Smoke

effects of second hand smoke

Thousands of chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanides and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke. Forty-three known carcinogens are in mainstream smoke, side-stream smoke or both. Most of these ingredients, approved by the government as lobbied by the manufacturers, were never tested by burning them and it is the burning of many of these substances which often changes their properties for the worse. It’s chilling to think about not only how smokers poison themselves, but what others are exposed to by breathing in the secondhand smoke. The next time you’re missing your old buddy, the cigarette, take a good long look at this list and see them for what they are: a delivery system for toxic chemical and carcinogens.

Also known as secondhand smoke, ETS plays a part in more health problems than you might realize. The following facts point out why it is so important to have smoking bans in place. No one should be forced to breathe in air tainted with cigarette smoke.

Secondhand Smoke and Cancer

The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen.

Cancers linked to passive smoking include:

Some chemical compounds found in smoke only become carcinogenic after they’ve come into contact with certain enzymes found in many of the tissues of the human body.

The Risks of Secondhand Smoke to a Child

  • Low birth weight for gestational age
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)- children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have an increased risk of SIDS.
  • The EPA estimates that passive smoking is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 of these infections in children under 18 months annually
  • Asthma – According to the EPA, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 kids with asthma have their condition worsened by secondhand smoke every year. Also, passive smoking may also be responsible for thousands of new cases of asthma every year
  • Chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheezing may be attributed to secondhand smoke.
  • Children who breathe in secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from dental cavities, eye and nose irritation, and irritability
  • Middle ear infections – exposure to ETS causes buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 700,000 to 1.6 million physician office visits yearly

Secondhand Smoke and Children
Secondhand Smoke at Home Threatens Children

How Secondhand Smoke Can Affect the Heart

  • Heart disease mortality – an estimated 35,000 to 62,000 deaths are caused from heart disease in people who are not current smokers, but who are exposed to ETS
  • Acute and chronic coronary heart disease
  • Passive smoking has been linked to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke hastens hardening of the arteries, a condition known as artherosclerosis
  • Continual exposure to ETS has been shown to nearly double the chance of heart attack

Secondhand Smoke – Worse Than We Thought

Secondhand smoke is serious business, and should be a concern for anyone who breathes it in. Non-smokers inhaling secondhand smoke share some of the health risks smokers face. But smokers do face the worst of it – the risks of smoking are compounded by breathing cigarette smoke in for a second time.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of  ETS. While secondhand smoke may not kill as many people as smoking does, it is toxic and claims thousands of lives every year around the world.

Tell us what you think:
Polls about Secondhand Smoke

References:
Mayo Clinic
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)
The National Cancer Institute(NCI)
The American Heart Association

Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke

Secondhand Smoke Dangers

Secondhand Smoke

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

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  1. Jenny Graham says:

    Great source of information it is!Thanks for sharing with us.

    Thanks
    http://www.perfecthealthhub.co

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