While the term “secondhand smoke” is often used, we may be unfamiliar with how its side effects actually affects people’s lives.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes from another person’s cigarette. It also refers to the smoke that smokers exhale. While it is becoming more common for smoking to be prohibited in private and public spaces, and as its regulations are becoming stricter, this practice continues to occur in many homes or on the street.
According to the American Thoracic Society (ATS), cigarette smoke produces toxic substances that change the cells that are developing normally in the body, which increases the risk of developing certain diseases. As the World Health Organization (WHO) states, passive smoking (secondhand smoke) is also the cause of serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including coronary heart disease and lung cancer in adults; sudden death syndrome in infants; and low birth weight in fetuses.
As the ATS recommends, making your home a smoke-free space is essential to a family’s health, especially for children. Another risk factor the ATS mentions is that the smoke that comes from the burned end of a cigarette contains more toxins than the smoke that smokers inhale themselves. Providing information and raising awareness about the risks of this habit is part of a campaign that both institutions invite people to join.
Related article: A smoke-free body