Harmful Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Harmful Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Do you involuntarily inhale smoke from a person who is smoking? You are at an increased risk of developing various diseases! Second hand smoke can thicken blood and develop blood clots in the blood vessels. Also secondhand smoke thickens tissue in the nose. Second hand smoke increases the risk of various diseases. What are they? Read on…

Secondhand smoke is the smoke inhaled involuntarily from tobacco being smoked by others. It is also known as passive smoking. It is a mixture of the smoke from a tobacco product and the smoke exhaled from a smoker.

When a non-smoker is near a person who is smoking, he will be exposed to certain chemicals like nicotine.

Cigarettes, cigars and pipe smoke are the sources of secondhand smoke.

Health risks of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 harmful chemicals out of which at least 50 chemicals are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke contains chemicals like vinyl chloride, cadmium, benzene, ethylene oxide and arsenic.

Secondhand smoke increases the risk of the following diseases.

  1. Lung cancer: Non smokers who are with smokers are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer when compared to the non smokers who are not with smokers.
  2. Cardiovascular disease: Second hand smoke can lead to cardiovascular disease. It increases the risk of coronary heart disease in non-smokers. Secondhand smoke affects the linings of the blood vessels. Secondhand smoke thickens the blood, it leads to blood clots. Carbon monoxide present in the second hand smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, this reduces the amount of oxygen and this can cause permanent damage to the heart and tissues. It can also lead to heart attack.
  3. Lung diseases: Secondhand smoke can lead to cough, chest congestion and decreased lung function. In babies, secondhand smoke leads to pneumonia and bronchitis.
  4. Breast cancer: Secondhand smoke increases the risk of breast cancer.
  5. Sinusitis: Secondhand smoke thickens the tissue in the nose and slows down the flow of mucus. It allows the bacteria to grow. Hence secondhand smoke leads to sinusitis.

In children secondhand smoke leads to asthma. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke may suffer from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Pregnant women who are exposed to smoke are at an increased risk of delivering low-birthweight babies. Secondhand smoke leads to eye irritation and ear infection.

Hence secondhand smoke can have negative impacts on the health. For more information, consult a pulmonologist online at eVaidya now!


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