Friday, 21 October 2016

Do you know that you can die from being in regular contact with people who smoke?

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Photo Credit: forbes.com
Most of us are constantly around people who smoke. We have close friends, lovers, spouses, siblings, neighbors and colleagues who smoke, and we usually find ourselves hanging around them while they smoke, ignorant of what that smoke does to us. Obviously, the smoke the smoker inhales, is harmful to them, even though not as much as it is to them, the smoke they exhale in our presence is harmful to us too. That smoke is called 'secondhand smoke' also 'environmental tobacco smoke'. It includes the smoke that a smoker exhales (mainstream smoke) and the smoke that comes directly from the burning tobacco product (sidestream smoke). Check out it's composition:

1-Ammonia, used in cleaning products
2-Butane, used in lighter fluid
3-Carbon monoxide, found in car exhaust
4-Chromium, used to make steel
5-Cyanide, used in chemical weapons
6-Formaldehyde, an industrial chemical
7-Lead, a toxic metal
8-Polonium, a radioactive substance

The dangerous particles in secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours or even longer. It isn't just the smoke that's a concern, though. The residue that clings to a smoker's hair and clothing, as well as cushions, carpeting and other goods sometimes referred to as 'thirdhand smoke' also can pose risks, especially for children. Here are the effects that smoking has to non-smokers in the environment of smokers:

To children & babies:

-They are more prone to asthma, and ear, nose and chest infections.
-They have an increased risk of dying from cot death (sudden infant death syndrome).
-Are more likely than average to become smokers themselves when older.
-On average, do less well at reading and reasoning skills compared to children in smoke-free homes, even at low levels of smoke exposure.
-Are at increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer as adults.

To adults. 

Breathing in secondhand smoke from wherever has been shown to have instant effects on the cardiovascular system of nearby individuals. Over time, secondhand smoke takes a toll on people’s lungs and has been found to increase the risk of stroke in those exposed by 20-30%.

You also have an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease if you are exposed to other people smoking for long periods of time. For example, the risk of developing lung cancer is increased by about 20-30% in people who are regularly exposed to other people's cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke is also an irritant, and can make asthma and other conditions worse.

So protect yourself from secondhand and thirdhand smoking. Here are some tips on how you can do that:
-Don't allow smoking in your home. If family members or guests want to smoke, ask them to step outside. Air conditioners and ventilation systems don't effectively remove secondhand smoke from the air.
-Don't allow smoking in your vehicle. If a passenger must smoke while you're traveling, stop as needed for smoke breaks outside the car.
-Insist that smoking restrictions be enforced at work. Many states have laws against smoking in the workplace.
-Choose smoke-free care facilities. This applies to child care facilities as well as facilities for older adults.
-Patronize businesses with no-smoking policies. Choose smoke-free restaurants. When you travel, request nonsmoking hotel rooms.






Sources: http://patient.info/health/smoking-and-others-passive-smoking
               https://www.quitterscircle.com/story/how-does-smoking-affect-those-around-you
              http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/secondhand-smoke/art-20043914?pg=2

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