Every time we watch popular T.V ads about a tobacco product, they always end with a disclaimer, “The ministry of health warns that tobacco smokers are liable to die young.” Well, that is very true; however, they fail to tell us that those who do not smoke are also liable to die, even younger. That might come as a bit of a surprise but then it is very true. Have you ever heard of the term “passive smoking”? Maybe, maybe not; but then you might be interested to know that you are probably a passive smoker.
Passive smoking, unlike active smoking, is simply the breathing in of smoke by persons other than the one smoking, otherwise known as the active smoker. Simply put, you smoke passively when you breathe in the smoke released from burning tobacco products, such as cigars, pipes, or cigarettes and when you inhale smoke that has been breathed out by the person smoking. You might have thought since you don’t smoke actively, you are safe but in actual fact, you are not. Do you know that tobacco smoke is actually a mixture of more than 6,000 chemicals most of which are toxins and irritants? These toxins and irritants have been found to be carcinogenic. So when you inhale tobacco smoke, you are simply inhaling a whole mass of poisonous compounds.
It is possible for you to be thinking that you not allowing people to smoke around you unless there was sufficient fresh air available insulates you from all this. Well, that sounds like a good option but then it’s not a safe option. This is because smoke, either the one the active smoker breathes out or the one released from the burning tip of cigarette, can remain in the air for as long as 2 hours or even more. It doesn’t matter whether you have a window open or not, neither does it matter whether you are in a well aerated place. Tobacco smoke can still be present in the air even when you cannot see it or even smell it. I know that this could be hard to believe considering the fact that a passive smoker does not inhale as much smoke as an active smoker; however, the bottom line is this: there is no safe-zone for passive smoke exposure because even a brief exposure can be harmful to your health.
Generally, the effects of passive smoking on our health can be very fatal. They include the following:
Passive smoking can make one prone to an early and untimely death
Passive smokers have a high chance of having lung cancer.
Passive smoking to a very high degree raises a person’s risk of getting coronary heart disease.
Effects of passive smoking
Passive smoking and its effects cut across all ages. Adults and children, even infants, fall prey to this kind of smoking. The effects of passive smoking on adults are not the same as the effects of passive smoking on children.
How passive smoking affect adults:
- Lung Cancer
- Heart disease
How passive smoking affects children:
- Ear infections which could even lead to a total loss of hearing
- Frequent and very severe asthma attacks
- Life-threatening respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis
- Symptoms of respiratory problems like sneezing, coughs and shortness of breath
- Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS – this is twice as likely in babies whose mothers smoke
source : healthfacts.ng