The Hidden Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Posted On: 08-25-2017
The Hidden Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
Smoking doesn’t just affect your own health. It also has a negative impact on your loved ones. Quitting smoking for their own health can be extra motivation—and if you are often surrounded by secondhand smoke, you can learn how to protect yourself.

What is Secondhand Smoke?

There are two sources of secondhand smoke: the smoke that is breathed out from the smoker (mainstream smoke), and the smoke that is coming from the cigarette itself (sidestream smoke). Anyone around a smoker will breathe in this secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke can stay in the air for hours after somebody smokes in that vicinity, and it can be harmful to breathe it in, even for a short time. This is actually referred to as involuntary smoking, or passive smoking.

Secondhand Smoke Dangers

Researchers have noticed that secondhand smoke is associated with health problems in individuals who do not smoke. These health problems include heart disease, lung cancer, wheezing, shortness of breath, and other breathing problems.

Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous in pregnant women, babies, and children. Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke can have babies with low birth weight. Babies around secondhand smoke are more likely to experience lung infections and other problems. And for children, asthma and other health issues are possible results.

Protection from Secondhand Smoke

The best way to keep others safe from secondhand smoke is to not allow smoking indoors. If you are currently a smoker, you can protect your loved ones by quitting as soon as possible.

Avoid areas with heavy smoke, and make sure that you choose caretakers for your family that do not smoke. Teach children and other family members about steering clear of those who are outside smoking in order to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke.

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