I believe the hazards of secondhand smoke are an important topic to be in the know about! Secondhand smoke presents dangers for those who are breathing it, and many people aren’t even aware of how unhealthy it is to breathe secondhand smoke! Smoking itself is a bad habit, and very unhealthy, but breathing secondhand smoke comes in close second. Please read on to learn some of the hazards of secondhand smoke.
1. There is No Risk-Free Exposure Level
Of all the hazards of secondhand smoke, perhaps the most important thing to know is that there is no “risk-free” level. It’s not okay to just be exposed once or twice a day or even once or twice a week. Even the slightest exposure allows harmful chemicals into your body that can trigger an onslaught of problems, such as the ones mentioned later in this article.
2. Increased Risk of Heart Attacks
Secondhand smoke increases your risk of having a heart attack, no matter what your age. Secondhand smoke has also been proven to cause heart disease and strokes! Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on a person’s heart and blood vessels, so it’s better to just stay away.
3. Lung Cancer
It was once thought that smoking was the primary cause of lung cancer. This still rings true, but we now know that breathing in secondhand smoke is also a trigger for lung cancer. If you live with someone who smokes, or are exposed to it on a regular basis, try and do what you can to limit or completely stop any contact you may have with the secondhand smoke.
4. Disease and Premature Death
Cigarettes are loaded with chemicals, and once someone starts smoking a cigarette, those chemicals start to break down. These chemicals are toxic and quite harmful, and present hazards to those breathing them in. Some of those hazards include disease and premature death! A few of the chemicals found in secondhand smoke are formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, hydrogen cyanide, and arsenic ammonia.
5. Risk of SIDS
Secondhand smoke is really dangerous for small children and babies to breathe as it presents the deadly risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you have a small baby, please do what you can to shield him or her from breathing secondhand smoke. You could save a life!
6. Respiratory Issues
Smoking itself causes lots of respiratory and breathing issues, but so does breathing secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can trigger or irritate and worsen asthma symptoms, cause breathing difficulties, bring on strong coughs, cause wheezing, and irritate allergies. None of these are healthy or comfortable for the person experiencing them!
7. Risks to Children
Secondhand smoke produces even greater risks to children than to adults. Children are still trying to build and strengthen their immune systems, and their bodies aren’t as strong as an adult’s body. A few of the side effects children may experience from secondhand smoke include slowed lung growth, asthma triggers, bronchitis, ear infections, coughing, wheezing, pneumonia, and colds.
According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes around 3,400 deaths from lung cancer, and anywhere from 22,700 to 69,600 deaths from heart disease each year. Those are scary numbers! Secondhand smoke poses great hazards to those breathing it. Do you know any other hazards that secondhand smoke causes? Please comment below, and thanks for reading!