Secondhand smoke, also known as passive smoke, is a mix of substances created by burning tobacco. Exactly like primary smoking, secondhand smoke can lead to the appearance of various diseases.
What is secondhand smoke?
Secondhand smoke consists of the smoke from the burning of a tobacco product, and the smoke that is exhaled into the air by the smoker.
Passive smoke has more than 4,000 chemical compounds. Only 1/3 of the smoke from a cigarette is inhaled by the smoker, and 2/3 is in the air around the smoking person.
- Secondhand smoke has no less than twice the level of nicotine and tar as the smoke in the lungs of the smoker.
- It has five times the level of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that deprives the blood of oxygen.
- It also includes higher amounts of ammonia and cadmium.
- The concentration of hydrogen cyanide (a toxic gas that hits respiratory enzymes) in smoke is considered poisonous.
- It is made up of nitrogen dioxide which is mentioned at fifty times higher than the standard for harm.
- Non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke can get many life-threatening illnesses.
- Regular exposure to passive smoke raises the probability of lung disease by 23% and heart disease by 8%.
How to Avoid Secondhand Smoke
In Public Places
The ideal method to reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases is to stay away from smoking persons, and to encourage smokers around you to stop smoking. Those who decided to continue smoking should not do this in enclosed public places, but as far away from nonsmokers as possible. Many public locations (such as restaurants, bars, shops) are already smoke-free as nowadays many countries have introduced ban on smoking in public places and some countries even prohibited the sale of tobacco products.
Office buildings should be smoke-free areas. However, if smoking is allowed, there should be established specially designated places for smokers. Such establishments have to be regularly ventilated.
The home is most likely the most necessary area to be smoke-free, especially when kids live there. A predicted 19 million kids live in homes where a member of the family or guest regularly smokes, and that is why more than 50% of all American children have noticeable levels of cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in their blood. Keeping children far away from secondhand smoke can help lower their challenges of developing respiratory infections, severe asthma, cancer, and many other serious health diseases.