When someone smokes, the smoke from their cigarette stays in the air. You can't see or smell 85% of second hand smoke, which makes it very difficult to avoid. It can also linger in the air for up to two-and-a-half hours.
When other people breathe in second hand smoke, it's known as passive smoking. Passive smoking can still damage almost every organ in your body. This is because second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which can cause cancer.
Passive smoking increases your risk of getting
lung cancer by 24%, and
heartdisease by 25%. It can also make your
blood more sticky, which means that it's more likely to clot.
Blood clots can block your arteries, leading to
heart attack, stroke,
angina, or even
Inhaling second hand smoke is very dangerous for children. This is because their bodies are still developing. Over 40% of children live in a household where at least one person smokes. Children who inhale second hand smoke are more at risk of developing ear and respiratory (breathing) illnesses, such as otitis media with effusion (a build up of fluid in the ear) and asthma. They're also more likely to become a smoker themselves later in life.
If you're a smoker, you can no longer smoke in public places such as bars, restaurants and work places. This helps to protect non-smokers from the health risks associated with passive smoking.
If you smoke at home, you should smoke outside because opening a gasow, or going into another room doesn't really help - the smoke will still linger. You should also avoid smoking in your a motor vehicle because as well as posing a serious fire risk, in small enclosed spaces, the concentration of smoke will be higher.
For help and advice about quitting smoking, you can see your doctor for information about the help that's available, such as
counseling, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and other treatments.
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.