What you should know about Second Hand Smoke?


What is second hand smoke?

Second hand smoke is what smokers exhale. They first inhale the smoke in their lungs, then to reject it in the surrounding air. The smoke escaping through the lit end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar is also second hand smoke.  A non-smoker exposed to second hand smoke has a higher risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease. It also has an increased risk of cancer of the sinuses, brain, breast, uterus, cervix, thyroid, leukemia and lymphoma.

Many of us breathe second hand smoke in public spaces, building entrances and at work. Second hand smoke contains the same chemicals as those contained in tobacco that the smoker inhales directly. Therefore, if you sit next to someone who smokes, you smoke in spite of you, as well as all persons who are nearby.  Every time someone smokes in your home, toxic substances from second hand smoke from spreading in the air and eventually settle on carpets, furniture, curtains and clothes.

Second hand Smoke Causes Illness

Even the lowest concentration of second hand smoke is not safe. It’s not just the risk of cancer, second hand smoke can also affect your heart. It also increases your risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.  Second hand smoke also causes congestion and cough. It can irritate skin, nose and throat. If you already suffer from allergies or respiratory problems (like asthma), second hand smoke may worsen significantly. Research also indicates that there may be a link between second hand smoke and risk of breast cancer. Hundreds of chemicals present in tobacco smoke are toxic and of those, more than fifty can cause cancer. Exposure to second hand smoke causes about 425 deaths per year, and this does not include exposure to the workplace. Exposure to second hand smoke also causes diseases and conditions described below.

In adults

  • Heart disease

Exposure to second hand smoke increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 to 35%.

  • Lung cancer

The risk of lung cancer of the spouse or the spouse of a smoker is higher than 20% (women) and 30% (for men).

  • Sinus cancer

Respiratory symptoms, such as bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease chronic wheezing
Irritation of eyes and nose

In children

  • Low birth weight
  • Sudden Infant Death
  • Bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections
  • Triggering and exacerbation of asthma symptoms
  • Infections of the middle ear
  • Other diseases and conditions:


  • Cancer of the cervix
  • Breast cancer
  • Adverse effect on cognitive development and behavior in children
  • Exacerbation of cystic fibrosis
  • Decreased lung function
So, you must have realized pipe smoking is a better alternative to cigarette smoking.


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