How Harmful is Passive Smoking ?
Passive smoking is also called secondhand smoke, involuntary smoking or environment smoke. Passive smoking is equally harmful and as dangerous as active smoking. Passive smoking occurs when the ambient or exhaled smoke comes in contact with the other person and inhaled by him/her.
Passive smoking is intricated with inhaling toxic components and various carcinogens, which are present in secondhand smoke. These carcinogens include benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, 1, 3-butadiene and 4-(methyinitrosamino)-1-(pyridyl)-1-butanone with various other harmful components.
Passive Smoking is Equally Harmful
Various researches have been carried out to determine the hazards of passive smoke. Some harmful effects of passive smoking are as follows:
- Passive smoke is more harmful to children.
- If parents smoke in front of their children, they will also become victim of the culture which is not expected to be adopted by them.
- Passive smoke causes the maximum damage to infants, fetuses and small children by damaging their organs, mainly with Brian and lungs.
- Passive smoke in children can cause middle ear infection, which could lead to imbalance of pressure equalization in the middle ear. This also causes fluid retention and pain in the ear. If early treatment is done, it can be cured, otherwise it cal also cause permanent loss of hearing.
- In children, passive smoking also cause bronchitis and pneumonia. Lung diseases such as phlegm and sneezing develop in some children who are exposed to constant smoke.
- In fetuses, passive smoking can cause cleft lip and palate. The child also born with a low body weight.
Some other diseases caused by passive smoking includes
- Ear infection
- Lung cancer
- Heart problems
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Low birth weight
- Still births
Effects of Passive Smoking on Children
Secondhand smoking is more dangerous and lethal to infants and children when compared with adults. As their immune system is not fully developed and still weak, children are more susceptible to suffer from various smoking-related diseases. The adverse effects of secondhand smoking include:
- Infection in throat/ear/lungs
Effects of Passive Smoking on Fetus
On several ocassions, you might have heard that expectant mothers are wisely advised to stop smoking as it harms the growing fetus. Here are few dangers of passive smoking:
- Less milk production in mothers
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Potential threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
How to Avoid Passive Smoking
- If someone is smoking around you, you can ask him/her not to smoke or to go outside.
- For non smokers, public places are the most vulnerable places. Hence, recent legislations have banned smoking in public places.
- Placing a wet handkerchief on the nose, passive smoking can be avoided.
- Portable air cleaning system can be installed in the homes to make the atmosphere tobacco free.
Prevention of Passive Smoking
There are numerous adverse effects of secondhand smoking. Hence, we must be careful about it, in the same regard as being aware of cigarette smoking. In most public places, smoking is not allowed around the world. In order to prevent the grave consequences, smoking is not allowed in theaters, restaurants and other such places.
Active smokers can also do their bit to prevent secondhand smoke. They must be alert where they are smoking, especially if they have children around them. It is always best to smoke outdoors, instead of smoking in enclosed spaces.