Over the years, many health organizations have launched campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. In many states, the law requires cigarette manufactures to print warning banners on their products. These messages do a good job at informing smokers of the dangers of tobacco smoke, but what may be less obvious is the effect that smoking has on non-smokers.
Sidestream smoke (or emissions from the end of a burning cigarette) along with mainstream smoke (or smoke exhaled by a smoker) expose any nearby person to almost the same amount of chemicals as the smoker breathes in. This is the reason why secondhand smoke causes smoking related diseases in people who do not use cigarettes. Many states have outlawed smoking in public places like restaurants, airplanes, hospitals, and places of work to protect the health of non-smokers. However, there are people who find it hard to escape secondhand smoke, especially those that live with smokers. If you are a smoker, it is important to learn some of the most affect people by secondhand smoke so that you can take measures to avoid putting their health in danger.
Who is Most Vulnerable to Secondary Smoke?
Anyone that lives with a smoker can be vulnerable to secondary smoke. Some of the people that are most affected include:
- Children: Cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and middle ear infections are not unheard of in children who are exposed to significant amounts of secondhand smoke. The effects can be even worse amongst infants whose lungs are smaller and have immune systems that are still developing. In fact, toxic exposure to tobacco smoke has trigged sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in some babies. Kids that grow up in homes where smoking is rampant tend to catch respiratory infections quite often. These aliments keep them from school and interfere with their physical growth. What’s worse, they are likely to start smoking at an early age than kids who are not exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Pregnant Women: Exposuretotobaccosmoke amongst non-smoking women can slow down foetal growth during pregnancy. It also increases the risk of low birth weight babies whom are at risk of development disorders.
- People suffering from hypertension and respiratory illnesses are alsomorevulnerable to the negative effects of passive smoking. Exposure to secondhand smoke only worsens their conditions and makes recovery difficult.
How to Protect Your Loved Ones from Secondhand Smoke
It is important to avoid exposing other people to secondhand tobacco smoke. This can lead to serious ailments and even death. If you smoke cigarettes and want to protect your loved ones from secondhand smoke, here are a few measures you can take.
- Never smoke in the house if you live with high-risk individuals whose health is highly vulnerable to tobacco smoke.
- Do not smoke in front of children to avoid influencing their behaviour.
- Substitute cigarettes with a smokeless nicotine product. For instance, e-cigarettes produce zero smoke, have far less harmful chemicals compared to tobacco cigarettes, and they provide an authentic smoking experience.
Keep in mind though that kicking the smoking habit is the best way to protect other people, including you, from tobacco smoke.
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