Secondhand smoke can cause respiratory issues in children and adults. Due the the effects of smoke exposure, it is important to get rid of second hand smoke in your home.
What is second hand smoke?
Secondhand smoke is the excess smoke discharged from burning tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars.
This excess smoke consists of smoke that has been exhaled from the person smoking and the smoke that burns from the end of the tobacco product. As excess smoke drifts through the air, other people inhale it. Consequently, these unknowing people are exposed to the same harmful byproducts as the smokers themselves.
What makes Second Hand Smoke so Harmful?
When people inhale the excess smoke given off from a tobacco product, they are absorbing over 7,000 harmful chemicals. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals including around 70 that can cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke is not only harmful to adults but is actually even more harmful to children as they have young developing lungs.
How Can Second Hand Smoke Be Prevented?
The only way to truly prevent secondhand smoke is it so eliminate the source. There are several ways to effectively reduce the source of smoke in order to live in a smoke free environment. The most effective way to eliminate the source of second hand smoke it so either stop smoking or smoke outdoors, but this is often easier said than done.
If the source cannot be eliminated, it is important to Invest in an Air Purifier designed to eliminate smoke.
Tips for eliminating the source and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke:
- Smoke outdoors
- Put up no smoking signs
- Separate smokers from nonsmokers
- Open windows
- Invest in air purifiers for smoke
- Stay away from restaurants that allow smoking
- Don’t allow someone to smoke in your car
- Teach your children the effects of tobacco smoke
If the source of secondhand smoke cannot be eliminated, steps must be taken to reduce exposure. Being aware of common places where people are exposed to secondhand smoke is the first step in reducing exposure. Secondhand smoke often occurs in homes, workplaces, and public areas such as restaurants, casinos, and bars. If you plan to travel to one of these places, be sure that there is a non-smoking area available for kids and adults who do note smoke.
Second Hand Smoke Statistics:
Health effects for children:
- Ear Infections
- Asthma related issues
- Coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath
- Bronchitis and Pneumonia
- Risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Health effects for Adults:
- Heart Disease
- Lung cancer
Secondhand smoke can also damage the heart and blood vessels. Each year from 2005-2009 Second hand smoke caused more than 34,000 heart disease and 7,300 cancer related deaths.
Smoke Free Laws and Policies
Thanks to increased awareness and action taken by the US government, second hand smoke rates have significantly dropped in the United States. Over the past several years, smoke-free laws have been both implemented and enforced by local and state governments.
Currently, just over a quarter of our nation’s state governments have passed comprehensive smoke free laws, and hopefully more will follow suit. As a result, most public restaurants, entertainment centers, bars, and private workplaces are now required to have designated smoking areas and do not allow smoking indoors.