Second-hand, otherwise known as passive smoke, is what you inhale when you’re close to smokers. You can breathe in other people’s tobacco smoke at parties or public gatherings. You may not realise or feel any changes when you mingle with smokers. However, the smoke you inhale affects your health as much as it does theirs.
Second-hand smoke comes from two sources. Namely
Sidestream smoke comes from burned tobacco products such as pipes and cigarettes.
Mainstream smoke comes from when a person smoke nearby.
Both streams release chemicals into the air that can affect your health. Therefore, no level of passive smoke is safe. Children mainly are more prone to danger.
Passive smoke damages occur in less than 7 minutes:
All smoke from burning nicotine products contains harmful chemicals (toxins). Even nonsmokers inhaling other people’s smoke breathe in these toxins. Sidestream smoke from the end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe is unfiltered. It has more harmful toxins than mainstream smoke that someone breathes out.
Passive smoke harms your body in several ways. Adults that inhale this smoke may experience severe health problems:
Anyone exposed to second-hand smoke can be affected. However, some people are more exposed. Thus:
Because their bodies are still developing, they’re at higher risk of :
Besides damaging children’s health, children exposed to smoke are likely to start smoking.
So, how can I protect my child, myself and others from passive smoking?
Keep the environment smoke free. If you don’t smoke, all you have to do is stay away from smoke-filled surroundings or people that smoke.
Keep the environment around you, and your loved ones smoke free. As a result, you protect them from inhaling the smoke. Although it not easy, the best decision would be to stop smoking; however, if you’re not able to just yet, be sure to smoke at secluded places with no one around.
Restrict smoking indoor, be it in your home or your car.
Further reading: Health effects of smoking on your body.