The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke

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The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay

In the 1950’s and 60’s scientists gave the people a lot of evidence on the deadly effects of smoking where the tobacco companies on the other hand tried to put the doubt in people’s minds through the campaigns to show that it is not all true. The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay. By the time people actually decided to take care of their health and finally saw how life-threatening smoking could be by real life examples, the tobacco companies already got rich from its sales. Nowadays, nobody doubts that “firsthand” smoke is deadly to your health and it causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults and asthma and bronchitis in children.

Now the industry is onto the secondhand smoke. Scientists and researchers are representing a lot of evidence and research that has been done throughout the years showing that the secondhand smoke can also cause a lung cancer in nonsmokers. The study has been done of people who have been long exposed to secondhand smoke and it shows that 26 out of 33 published studies indicate a link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. The study estimates that the people that were breathing secondhand smoke were 8 to 150 percent more likely to get lung cancer.The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay.

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The tobacco companies are trying to argue the facts and are still in serious debate about the health hazards of breathing a secondhand smoke. A lot of anti-smoking organizations are trying to turn smoking in public into a private activity that does not have to involve nonsmokers breathing secondhand smoke. What is even more important is that many of these organizations convinced a lot of smokers to cut back or quit completely. The problem of secondhand smoke is increasing because it is so common in our society. It makes secondhand smoke the third-ranking cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.

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Mothers who live with a smoking spouse have to realize the ill effects of secondhand smoke on children even before they are born. The smoking components reach the developing fetus through the mother. Infants that are born in a smoking environment weigh less and have a weaker chance of becoming a fully developed child. Secondhand smoke leads to blood clots and damages arterial linings which are the two most leading factors in the development of heart disease. The tobacco companies got scared of the effect that the secondhand smoke research can do to the cigarette makers.

The tobacco companies started their own secret studies on how to fight the growing success of antismoking activists. They are trying to show the people that there is no definite evidence to prove that the secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer or any other diseases that the scientists accuse it of. The tobacco industry is trying to influence the science by commissioning a research from sympathetic scientists and sponsoring scientific meetings where they try to carefully bring out their point of view and publish the results in the medical literature.

Only 4 percent of the articles that were published from the meetings that were sponsored by the tobacco industry said that the secondhand smoke was unhealthy. The debate on secondhand smoke has reached the boiling point. The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay. When different scientists are using different study designs and different researches and still come up with the same result, it is time to start paying more serious attention to secondhand smoke.

When the human evidence is combined with the laboratory experiments showing that the secondhand smoke can cause cancer it is impossible to ignore it any longer. The nonsmokers should have the right to breathe smoke-free air. It is important to have restrictions on where people are allowed to smoke and in particular to keep the work place as a smoke-free environment. The declining rates of smoking show that people can actually quit. Everybody should make an effort to quit for the sake of the people they love.

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2,3,4

Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.1

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).1,4
Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.4
Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.1,4

Health Consequences Causally Linked to Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

Diagram showing the effects of secondhand smoke. In children: Middle ear disease, respiratory symptoms, impaired lung function, Lower respiratory illness, sudden infant death syndrome. In Adults: Stroke, nasal irritation, lung cancer, coronary heart disease, reproductive effects in women; low birth weightNote:
The condition in red is a new disease causally linked to secondhand smoke in the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report4

Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiovascular Disease
Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and stroke.2,4,5

Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers.4
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25–30%.1
Secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20−30%.4
Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually.4
Breathing secondhand smoke can have immediate adverse effects on your blood and blood vessels, increasing the risk of having a heart attack.2,3,4

Breathing secondhand smoke interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of having a heart attack.
Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the lining of blood vessels and cause your blood platelets to become stickier. The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay. These changes can cause a deadly heart attack.
People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposures.1

Secondhand Smoke Causes Lung Cancer
Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults who have never smoked.4

Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30%.2
Secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year.4
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.2,3,4
Even brief secondhand smoke exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion.4
As with active smoking, the longer the duration and the higher the level of exposure to secondhand smoke, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer.4
Secondhand Smoke Causes SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained, unexpected death of an infant in the first year of life. SIDS is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants.6 Secondhand smoke increases the risk for SIDS.2,4

Smoking by women during pregnancy increases the risk for SIDS.2,4,7
Infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are also at greater risk for SIDS.2,4
Chemicals in secondhand smoke appear to affect the brain in ways that interfere with its regulation of infants’ breathing.2,4
Infants who die from SIDS have higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs and higher levels of cotinine (a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure) than infants who die from other causes.2,4
Parents can help protect their babies from SIDS by taking the following three actions:8

Do not smoke during pregnancy.
Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or around your baby.
Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night. The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay.
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Secondhand Smoke Harms Children
Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children.2,4

Studies show that older children whose parents smoke get sick more often. Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia.
Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in a child. Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.
Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections. They also have fluid in their ears more often and have more operations to put in ear tubes for drainage.
Parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke by taking the following actions:9

Do not allow anyone to smoke anywhere in or near your home.
Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car, even with the window down.
Make sure your children’s day care centers and schools are tobacco-free.
If your state still allows smoking in public areas, look for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking. “No-smoking sections” do not protect you and your family from secondhand smoke. The Health Hazards of Breathing a Secondhand Smoke Essay.