Smokers Who Share

Smokers Who Share

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Do you know someone who smokes? Does it bother you? It probably should if it doesn’t! Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke that is given off from the end of the cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and ALSO includes the smoke that is exhaled by the smoker. ETS or Environmental Tobacco Smoke contains more than 4,000 substances (several of which are proven to cause cancer in humans AND animals!)

The EPA has concluded that the exposure to secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. EPA estimates that exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in nonsmokers. The exposure to secondhand smoke has been shown in a number of studies to also increase the risk of heart disease.


bar chart on health effects

The risks to children can be particularly worse than those in adults. Secondhand smoke can cause children to have delayed developmental growth and higher breathing rates than those of adults. 

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause asthma in children who have never had any previously exhibited symptoms. 
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of SIDS. 
  • Infants and children who are younger than 6 who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of lower respiratory track infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. 
  • Children who regularly breathe secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for middle ear infections.

 

More initiatives are being made to allow awareness to come home to parents as well as many cities laying down ordinances that do not allow smoking at all. Most hospitals, workplaces, and restaurants around the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom are now restricting any smoking done around the immediate area.

Please check out the list of cities and states that do not allow smoking in workplaces, bars, restaurants, and other facilities found here.

All of the facts in this article are based on actual EPA findings and statements and can be found here.

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