Passive Smoking Effects On Nonsmokers

Passive smoking is dangerous, but what exactly are the passive smoking effects on nonsmokers. What can be done to minimise their risk and exposure.

Passive smoking effects on nonsmokers and how to protect your family from them

Passive smoking in closed areas such as houses and cars is the most dangerous environment for children and babies. Consider keeping the home and car smoke-free.

When you smoke, most of the smoke doesn’t go into your lungs. It actually goes into the air and environment around you.

The invisible smoke can also cling onto your clothing for several hours. So if you want to be extra careful, have a smoking only coat that you take off as you enter your property.

When the people around you breathe this smoke in, it’s called passive smoking. It can be far worse for their health as it can for the smoker themselves.

This is because the smoke is often the smoke exhaled by a smoker combined with the cigarette smoke. It can be even more dangerous and gives people who breathe in passive smoke an even higher risk of contracting a smoking-related disease.

A pregnant woman who breathes in this smoke can be affected by passive smoke too. It can lead to premature birth and a whole range of complications. This is a major safety concern and should be taken very seriously.


What are risks of second hand smoke

Passive smoke is estimated to have up to 4000 toxins and cancer-causing substances. Many people do not know but passive smoke is often odourless and not visible. So it does not matter how careful you think you are being. People around you will always still breath it in.

Passive smoking

Passive smoke breathed in on a regular basis means your body is being exposed to regular nicotine and other dangerous substances, these substances can linger in the surrounding air for several hours.

It only takes a short time before these substances start to affect you and your body. From stiffening of the heart’s arteries to causing blood clotting, and irregular heartbeat.


Children and passive smoke

Children are the most vulnerable to passive smoking effects because they have not fully developed their lungs and immune system. Because of this, children that live in a smoking household are much more likely to develop health problems. These problems include asthma, chest infections and even ear infections.

Because children are still developing they are at risk of more serious issues such as:

  • Chronic coughs
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe asthma attacks

The message is clear if you have children keep them far away from smoke as possible, the further the better as it lowers their risks of the conditions listed.

The car is one of the most dangerous environments for a child where an adult is smoking. This is because the levels of smoke can reach dangerous levels, even with the cars ventilation system and windows.

The longer you (adults and children) are around passive smoke the greater the risk of developing a smoking-related disease, such as lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease.


People that are at the greatest risk

  • Service workers such as bar and restaurant workers who are are around smokers for larger periods of time. Because they are in an environment where second-hand smoke will be present for several hours they are at greater risk.

  • Pregnant women Second-hand smoke can harm the mother but also the unborn child too, inhaling second-hand smoke increases the risk for miscarriage and early birth. One of the reasons is the decrease in oxygen that is provided, this can increase the baby’s heart rate and also lead to lower birth weight.

  • Children Because children are still growing and not fully developed they are at an increased risk. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are susceptible to developing asthma and other lung and airway complication, higher blood pressure and more frequent colds and respiratory infections.

What can I do to avoid secondhand smoke?

Its important to avoid second hand smoke whenever possible.

  • Ask visitors to smoke outside. If you’re a nonsmoker they should understand and respect your wishes.

  • Open windows and keep rooms ventilated.

  • If your employer allows smoking, ask your employer to set up designated areas of smoking outside the building. A lot of employers have already done this. But if yours has not, don’t be afraid to ask.

  • When staying in away from home in a hotel, ask for a nonsmoking room. Smoke can have a bad habit of lingering around curtains, bedding and enclosed spaces. So if you can its best to avoid it right from the start.

What damage does second hand smoke do?

Passive smoking effects on nonsmokers cause many of the same diseases as directly smoking. these are categorized as cardiovascular, lung and asthma.

Most of the evidence has come from smokers who are married to non-smokers. And then further studies were conducted on workplace exposure. The evidence concluded that passive smoke did 4 times the damage as that of directly smoking.


Is E-cigarette vapour safe

E-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, so the same risks are not there. At present, there isn’t any significant research in this area, it’s ongoing. Compared to traditional cigarettes which can release up to 4000 toxins the number of chemicals released by the vapour is far less by comparison.

They produce negligible amounts of nicotine compared to traditional smoking cigarettes. The recommendation is to avoid using them around pregnant woman and small children.


References

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/1/2/e000153

https://www.icanquit.com.au/reasons-to-quit/smoking-and-your-family/passive-smoking

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