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Passive smoking

According to Wikipedia the passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called second-hand smoke (SHS), or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), by persons other than the intended “active” smoker. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment.

Actually the passive smoking means inhalation of smoke that comes from someone else smoking. Unfortunately the passive smoking could be as dangerous as active smoking. Health risks for passive smoking are very similar to health risks for active regular smoking.

Active smokers produce tiny invisible particles which mix with the surrounding air and these dangerous particles (poisons) are breathed in by all people around and get right down into their lungs. This can be harmful to health of any person but children and pregnant women could be in higher risk.

Whenever people smoke, they actually force all people around to become passive smokers because all the others around smokers are “smoking” too at the same time – they are breathing in the same harmful substances as the person who is smoking.

Smoke dangerous substances

Scientists discovered that passive smoke contains many dangerous chemicals which can be breathed in by someone who is near a smoker. It was also noted that these chemicals stick to clothes, furniture, walls and inside the car. This is why it is very important to avoid passive smoking.

Tobacco smoke contains around 7,000 chemicals, made up of particles and gases, over 50 of which are known to cause cancer.

Passive smoking risks for children

  Passive smoking increases the risk of illnesses in children including pneumonia, bronchitis, coughing and wheezing, middle ear infections and asthma or asthma attacks.

Passive smoking

  Passive smoking children are also more prone to getting colds, coughs and glue ear (middle ear infections). Their lungs show a reduced ability to function and slower growth.

  Children’s passive smoking increases their risk of developing heart disease and cancer.

  Passive smoking can trigger irritating the eyes and airways.

  Smoking parents could increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in newborn children.

  Observations demonstrated decreased learning abilities, problems in concentration and difficulties in languages in children who were passive smokers for years.

  Young children exposed to passive smoking have more dental decay than other children.

  Surveys demonstrated increased frequency of diabetes in children exposed to smoking.

  Children exposed to passive smoke have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, which can sometimes cause death or disability.

Passive smoking risks for pregnant women

Passive smoking during pregnancy can be a cause for following abnormalities:

  • decreased fetal development;
  • low birth weight (not adequate to pregnancy duration);
  • miscarriage;
  • placental abruption and other placenta problems;
  • premature birth;
  • stillborn babies;
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Passive smoking risks for adults

Passive and active smoking

  Passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease (mainly coronary heart disease).

  Doctors noted that passive smoking makes the blood more ‘sticky’ which increased the risk clots leading to increased risk of various dangerous health conditions (heart attack and stroke).

  Passive smoking is reducing the levels of antioxidant vitamins in the blood.

  Intensive regular long-term exposure to passive smoking could also lead to the development of atherosclerosis.

  Passive smoking partners have a 20-30% higher risk of developing lung cancer.

  Unfortunately passive smoking can increase the risk of stroke, nasal sinus cancer, throat cancer, breast cancer, long- and short-term respiratory symptoms, loss of lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among people who do not smoke.

How prevent passive smoking


Passive smoking risks

  Develop special smoke-free rules in your house, office and car by just putting “NO smoking” magnets or posters.

  Prepare the special place for smoking visitors in the garden, or in the corridor or any safe place.

  Forbid children to visit places where adults can smoke.

  Avoid places where people smoke (pubs, bars, discotheques, drunken parties).

  Don’t allow smoking in any enclosed space where people who do not smoke spend time.

  Make sure that all people who look after your children provide a smoke-free environment.


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