Secondhand smoking is quite a familiar topic when concerned about smoking and smoke-related medical problems. In comparison to traditional smoking, the most hazardous aspect of secondhand smoke is its immediate threat.
It has become one of the primary causes of lung cancer and other respiratory system-related disease conditions in nonsmoking society.
From today’s Know Your Facts, let’s discuss the hidden risk behind secondhand smoking, how to avoid it, and other related topics. Enjoy reading the information.
Table of Contents
What is Secondhand Smoking?
Secondhand smoking, also known as passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke, refers to the smoke emanating from the burning end of a cigarette or cigar, as well as the smoke exhaled by a typical smoker. Most of the time,
- pregnant women
like categories experience smoking as careless behavior of their smoking close ones.
This smoke contains approximately 7,000 toxic compounds, including over 70 cancer-causing agents. A few of them can be identified:
- Carbon monoxide
When exposed to secondhand smoke, a person inhales many of the same toxins and chemicals as a smoker. Other than Lung cancer secondhand smoke is the reason behind a number of other serious medical conditions.
Medical Condition Cause by Secondhand Smoking
Similar to direct smoking, secondhand smoking causes a number of major health conditions. However, passive smokers are exposed to the same hazardous smoke without a filter as direct users.
Therefore, there is a greater likelihood that they will encounter a risky circumstance more rapidly and severely.
There are a number of medical conditions given as examples. Lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory sickness, and cancers of the larynx and pharynx are among the most prevalent illnesses induced by secondhand smoke.
1. Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most serious health concerns developed with smoking.
When the primary lung defender was compromised, smoke was able to easily penetrate the air sacs, which are located in the deepest region of the lung.
There are a number of main symptoms caused by lung cancer. A few of them are identified as follows:
Main symptoms of lung cancer:
- Coughing up with blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Bone pain
More than 70 carcinogens, including radon, benzene, and formaldehyde, can damage DNA in the lungs and raise the chance of developing cancer.
Those who are exposed to secondhand smoke are 30% more likely to develop lung cancer than those who are not.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
Another severe health concern associated with secondhand smoke is cardiovascular disease. The smoke contains carbon monoxide (CO), which decreases blood oxygen supplement throughout the body by weak the bond between hemoglobin and oxygen.
Other than nicotine in the smoke elevates the heart rate and blood pressure. This can raise the probability of heart attacks and strokes.
In fact, secondhand smokers cause around 34,000 heart disease deaths annually in the United States.
3. Cancer of the Larynx and Pharynx
Another common medical condition people often face is cancer of the larynx and pharynx due to secondhand smoking. Toxic compounds in smoke are capable of damaging the DNA cells of the larynx and pharynx in your body which is starting to develop cancer.
This cancer type is quite common if you are exposed the direct secondhand smoke for a longer period of time.
4. Respiratory Illnesses
Respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia are quite common in society, and when you are a victim of secondhand smoke that medical condition can easily get into its worst stage in quickly. Especially for the higher risker age groups like kids and the elderly community.
Normal harmful particles inside smoke can irritate the airways and lead to inflammation which makes your breathing more worst than ever.
Especially you should be concerned about this if you have any kids because their growing respiratory system damage will lead to serious medical conditions.
Where is Secondhand Smoke Often Noticed?
As mentioned earlier secondhand smoke also known as passive smoke is quite common in any place where open for smoking.
If you’re experiencing any sort of smoke smell without smoking, you are a clear victim of secondhand smoking. Let’s check out what are these common places where we can often face passive smoke in our daily life.
From our experience, some of the house dwellers often smoke inside even without considering other family members. If you are living alone, practically this is okay.
But when your kids and your loved one are often exposed to smoke, it is a serious situation more than you smoking.
Also, this is quite a familiar problem in multi-unit housing system apartments. Smoke can easily pass through the walls and vents and expose all over the place.
Most indoor workplaces strictly prohibited smoking inside and smoking in specially allocated rooms for that. That most administrations try to minimize the impact by smoke on their clients and employers.
But in the atmosphere in restaurants, bars and other environments in the hospitality sector is quite different from other places.
Although workers in these environments are not smoking, most of the clients are smoking and workers are often experiencing secondhand smoke. Although with time, most of them get familiar with this, their respiratory system will have an immeasurable level of risk in the future.
3. Casinos, Hotels, Airports, and Public Transportation
Most of these places are strictly managing smoking to minimize the inconveniences caused by other clients.
But without following those guidelines, there is a larger community who smokes due to their addiction to smoking. Based on these kinds of situations, people often face secondhand smoke in daily conditions.
4. Inside your cars
Private vehicles are quite common places where people often smoke in the USA. But these smoke particles easily can absorb or store in your car interior which easily come outside and create the worst atmosphere at any movement.
Not only your family members, but you can also be easy victims here with secondhand smoking.
What Can We Do Against Secondhand Smoking
Now you can understand the danger behind secondhand smoking at this stage. Let’s check what can we do against it for the protection of our life.
1. Avoid the exposure
This is the most effective and practical target we all can do. Minimizing the places where smokers are gathering can decrease the medical condition that can cause by secondhand smoking.
Mostly where people are smoking, such as bars, restaurants, and other hospitality environments. If you are living with a smoker, make sure to tell him or her to smoke outside. Also, make sure to place an air purifier especially if you are suffering from a medical condition.
2. Set Smoke-free Policies in Your Community
This is a long-term practical solution we all practically apply in our society. In your small city, village, or your community make sure to place several rules and guidelines to protect the endangered communities. Especially the elderly community and children.
By prohibiting smoking in public places, such as parks, playgrounds, and public transportation we can strictly maintain secondhand smoking exposure.
3. Start Awareness Programs
Another practical of educating the danger of secondhand smoking is launching awareness programs in the community.
The majority of the community does not have a proper awareness of secondhand smoke and its short and long-term side effects.
4. Use an Air Purifier
Place an air purifier is one of the best practical options we can try to avoid smoking compared with other methods.
Due to smoking being an addictive habit, it’s quite hard to force people to stop it in a short period. Having our own protection is one of the practical methods we can try.
5. Stay with Your Medications
If your close ones are in the riskier life category for secondhand smoke or suffering from any respiratory system-based medical condition make sure to take medical guidelines and proper medications.
In any case of an emergency make sure to keep your inhalers, and medications with you. Also, make sure to inform your close one about your medical condition.
6. Maintaining a Healthy lifestyle
Other than secondhand smoking, a healthy lifestyle keep you away from a number of bad influences.
Maintaining a balanced diet, not smoking, regularly exercising, and maintaining proper mental health balance influence you to face other health risky situations eventually.