If you’ve never tried smoking because you know it’s bad for your health then that’s good! But are you staying away from people who are in to these cancer sticks? If no, then your healthy, cigarette-free life isn’t as healthy and cigarette-free as you think! That’s because secondhand smoke—the combination of the smoke from a cigarette and its smoker’s exhaled air—contains hundreds of toxic and life threatening chemicals that medicine for diabetes or other diseases can’t cure.
If you find that hard to believe, then here are a few facts about secondhand smoke that will convince you of its dangers.
It’s Harmful to Children
Smoking is harmful to people of all ages, especially to children, as their still-developing organs and tissues will be harmed by the chemicals found in cigarette smoke. However, even if they themselves don’t smoke and the people around them do so, then they are still at risk from different health conditions, particularly respiratory-related ones.
Studies show that older children of parents who smoke contract bronchitis and pneumonia more easily, as their lungs are less-developed as compared to those of children of non-smoking parents. Also, because secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack, asthmatic children get worse and more frequent asthma attacks.
It Causes SIDS
SIDS, shorthand for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the unexpected death of an infant that is neither foreseen by medical history nor determined by autopsy. However, smoking during pregnancy is considered as a widely accepted cause, if not a risk factor, among experts. This is because the infant, just like the mother, also receives nicotine and other toxic chemicals that cause fetal underdevelopment.
It Causes Cardiovascular Diseases
Just like smokers, victims of secondhand smoke also develop cardiovascular diseases. If you don’t see those words as truth, here are some numbers:
- Secondhand smoke causes 34000 premature non-smoker deaths from heart disease in the United States alone.
- Nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke have a 25-30% increased risk of developing heart disease and a 20-30% increased risk of developing stroke.
- Secondhand smoke causes 8000 deaths from stroke every year.
If you don’t want to be part of those statistics, steer clear of smokers.
It Causes Lung Diseases -Especially Cancer
Last but definitely not least is the organ most affected by smoking, secondhand or otherwise: the lungs. So if you never puffed a single stick all your life but frequently hang around smokers, you are exposed to a lot of the same toxic – or even cancer-causing – substances your smoking friends and family members are. That entails a 20-30% higher risk of developing lung cancer. And if you think a few minutes of being around smokers won’t do any damage, even short exposure to secondhand smoke can cause damage severe enough to trigger the cancer process.
Now that you know how much of a bane secondhand smoke can be on your health, you should stay away from smokers whenever they’re downing a stick or two. It’s not that you don’t like being around them, it’s just that you like being free of harmful chemicals.