Have you heard of the term ‘passive smoking’? Non smokers can also become smokers due to this. You become a passive smoker by being exposed, mostly involuntarily to the smoking of another person. Passive smoking is also referred to as second hand smoking and environmental tobacco smoking.
Before the early 90s, the ill effects of environmental tobacco smoking were not known to many. Studies were then conducted to prove that passive smoking, at home or at workplace, results in harmful health effects. Results of studies conducted by Environmental Protection Agency indicate that every year, around three thousand people die because of second hand smoking. This figure is just estimation. These results have evoked almost all the states to make smoke free regulations in indoor public places like night clubs, bars and restaurants, open public places and workplaces.
Here are some astonishing facts about second hand smoking. Passive smoking has been associated with many disorders caused to children at a young age, since they are more exposed to passive smoke than adults. These diseases are dangerous and can take children’s lives.
Here are some of the disorders caused to children as a result of passive smoking. Second hand smoking raises the chances of pneumonia and bronchitis in children. Asthma, lung infections and other respiratory disorders can also be caused due to this. Risks of ear infections are on the raise in children due to the indirect cigarette smoke they inhale. It is said that SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), also called crib death is related to passive smoking. This disorder results in the death of the child due to increased levels of nicotine in his/ her lungs. Going through these facts, you might have now understood not to smoke around children. It’s your decision whether or not to smoke. But do make sure that you are not exposing your family and children to it.
Let us look at what are the other disorders caused to children due to second hand smoking. The amount of toxins present in second hand smoke is not as high as that in the smoke inhaled by an ‘active’ smoker, they can still result in harmful health effects. The airway of infants and children is smaller than that of an adult, so breathing is faster in them. This leads to children inhaling all the more second hand smoke. Smoking is injurious to the health of not just the actual smoker, but those around him. Passive smokers are at equal and long term risks as the direct smoker.
When you are at home, the cigarette you smoke affects not just you, but your family, specially the children. Even though a person has his own rights, they do not, in any way, give him the liberty to bring dangers to other people’s lives. The various effects of second hand smoking can be listed and presented in journals. But it shouldn’t be necessary. People should realize themselves what harm they are causing to themselves, their children, family and friends. Don’t stop smoking in public because the law says so, but because you care for the people around you. It all comes down to this- live and let live!