- Passive smoke can come from cigar, cigarette or pipe
- Children are at higher risks of passive smoking
- Smoking during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for the baby
Passive smoking or secondhand smoking is the smoke that you are exposed to when you are around people who are smoking cigarettes or any other form of tobacco. On World No Tobacco Day 2018, we talk about health hazards of passive smoking or second-hand smoking. Every year, May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day. The day is meant to spread awareness about how hazardous smoking can be for your health. Passive smoking or second-hand smoking is bad for you, even if you yourself are not smoking. When you are near a person who is smoking a cigarette, most of the smoke doesn't go into his/her lungs. Majority of the smoke enters the air which you or anyone near you is breathing. This is the reason why smoking is banned in public spaces. But despite the efforts that the authorities have tried to restrict people from smoking in public, many people still are prone to passive smoking. This is especially for children who live with parents who smoke. Even though smokers try being careful about where they are lighting a cigarette up, it might not be helpful for those around them. Passive smoking is considered to be worse than regular smoking. And in case of cancer, a person's risk of cancer is no lesser if he or she is exposed to passive smoke.
Also read: World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco Consumption Can Increase Your Risk Of These Diseases
Also read: World No Tobacco Day 2018 Focuses On Heart Diseases Caused By Tobacco Use
How can you passive smoke?
Passive or secondhand smoke can come from cigar, cigarette or pipe. Tobacco smoke has more than 4,000 chemical compounds, out of which, around 250 are hazardous to health. Passive smoking can increase risks of lung cancer by around 30%. Passive smoking is also bad for heart health.
Smoking makes your blood stickier and increases levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. It can damage the lining of blood vessels and increase risks of heart attack and stroke.
Risks of passive smoking on children
Children are at higher risks of passive smoking because their bodies are still growing physically. They breathe at a rate which is faster than adults. Passive or second-hand smoking puts children at increased risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, frequent and severe asthma attacks, chronic cough and ear infections.
Smoking during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for the developing baby. It can increase risks of premature delivery and low birth weight. Smoking during pregnancy can increase risks of SIDS and reduce the child's mental ability. The child can also experience trouble while learning and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The more number of cigarettes a mother smokes, the greater danger it is to her baby.
Ways to prevent passive smoking
The best way to prevent passive or secondhand smoke is to avoid being around people who are smoking. You can also try to ask smokers around you to quit smoking. If you live with a person who smokes, you can make it a rule that s/he has to go outside to smoke, as far from other people as possible. It is extremely important to keep your house free from smoke, especially if you have children. Children should be kept away from smoking in order to reduce their risks of developing respiratory infections, cancer, asthma and numerous other serious health conditions.
Passive smoking contains high concentrations of ammonia, nicotine, benzene, carbon monoxide and lots of carcinogents. A light smoker and a passive smoker are at equal health risks. During the first of their life, children of parents who smoke have more respiratory infections and hospitalisation because of bronchitis and pneumonia, as compared to children of parents who don't smoke. Exposure to passive smoking can cause nausea, headaches, irritation in the eyes and nasal mucous membranes in health people.
However, there are many questions still left unanswered about effects of passive smoking. Deaths because of lung cancer because of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke are estimated to be around 5,000 among non-smokers, annually.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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