Passive smoking is said to occur when non-smokers are in the close presence of smokers contaminating the common environment, first by blowing the products of tobacco smoking into the common air space and secondly, by allowing a smoking cigarette, cigar or pipe to smolder on and contaminate the crowded room, the public transport, restaurant, work place or home.
Passive smoking increases the risks to the non-smoker of contracting respiratory disease and a variety of other disorders which up until recently, had been thought to only be associated with smoking. It is well documented that passive smoking of tobacco smoke and in particular, cigarette smoke, affects the innocent party from childhood to adulthood.
Maternal smoking by the expectant mother decreases birth weight by up to 200 grams and increases the premature birth rate mortality in the new born.
Parents who smoke can trigger off asthmatic attacks in their children and the risk of cot death is said to be increased . In the growing child, height and reading ability has been shown to be adversely affected. A recent Swedish study showed that mothers who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day during pregnancy produced children with a 50% greater chance of developing cancer than children whose mothers did not smoke.
Passive smoking should be suspected as a cause of recurrent sore eyes, headaches, asthmatic and respiratory problems in the growing child. There is evidence that passive smoking increases the risk of lung disease including lung cancer in the older, non-smoker who is continually in the presence of a smoker.
An exposure to tobacco smoke for eight hours a day is thought to be the equivalent of smoking up to five cigarettes a day. The smouldering end of a burning cigarette is said to release twice as much smoke directly into the air as inhaled by the smoke through the cigarette.
In actual fact the concentration of several important substances injurious to health is much higher in the smouldering smoke than it is in the smoke inhaled by the smoker. This means that light smokers may be a greater danger to the innocent non-smokers than they are to themselves. They at least have the benefit of cigarette filter.
Air conditioning does not usually help to solve the problem of passive smoking because cigarette smoke overwhelms the filtering effects of air conditioned ventilation.
As most people, smokers and non-smokers alike support the concept of smoke-free areas, we should all encourage the development of smoke-free areas to decrease the dangers of passive smoking
|How to Stop Smoking||Passive Smoking|
|Smokeless (Chewing) Tobacco||Smoking and Heart Attacks|
|Smoking and Lung Disease||Smoking and Pregnancy|
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