Is passive smoking more harmful than active smoking?
Back in 2004, the Agency for Research on Cancer officially confirmed that passive smoking can be more harmful than active smoking. A smoker rarely thinks about the fact that the people around him inhale the air mixture with unhealthy tobacco smoking products. Fletcher Niebel , a well-known American writer and journalist, wrote: “ It has now been proven with complete certainty that smoking is one of the main causes of statistics .” What do the statistics say about passive smoking?
What is in reality
In the literal sense of the word, killing his lungs, a smoker rarely thinks about how much harm he brings to those around him, among whom are often children and adolescents, as well as people suffering from chronic diseases. Numerous studies have found that when a smoker inhales 100% of the totality of harmful substances, he is able to exhale 60% back.
This means that only 40% of nicotine and other components settle in the body of this particular person, but others breathe in 60% of harmful substances and carcinogens. In addition, the air that the carrier of a bad habit inhales when puffing is less toxic than the one that he subsequently exhales.
It is also important to take into account the fact that the body of a smoker is to some extent adapted to the harmful substances contained in tobacco products. Those who have never smoked do not have such immunity – as a result, they are more vulnerable. The risk of negative effects of second-hand smoking increases many times over if a person is near smokers regularly, or inhalation of cigarette smoke occurs in a closed, poorly ventilated area.
The main dangers of passive smoking
When inhaling cigarette smoke, a passive smoker receives a rather original air cocktail for his body, consisting of almost 4 thousand harmful components – 10% of this composition is carcinogens. Being regularly or for a long time in a smoky room, such a person runs the risk of earning such unpleasant diseases as:
- Cancer diseases of the lungs.
- Diseases of the nervous, cardiovascular system.
- Smoker’s bronchitis.
When the most ordinary cigarette smolders, the result of this process is smoke, which is known to many as sidestream. And if a smoker inhales harmful substances through special cigarette filters, then a passive smoker does not have such an opportunity – he inhales a more concentrated collection of harmful substances. Such second-hand smoking is more dangerous, which has been repeatedly proven in different countries.
It is officially believed that 50 thousand annual deaths in America can be provoked by this type of inhalation of tobacco smoke. Thanks to research by the National California Laboratory, it became clear that even after dispersion, cigarette smoke continues to harm the organisms of people in the room. The remnants of tobacco smoke with nicotine settle on the surface of furniture, walls, clothes, after which they are less noticeable to themselves and continue to be inhaled by others.
The “untrained” body of a passive smoker
Revealing the question of why passive smoking is more harmful than active, it is worth knowing that almost 600 thousand people who are passive smokers die every year in the world. WHO presents such disappointing statistics, emphasizing that among this number there are many newborns and older children. The body of a non-smoker is weaker, vulnerable to the “smoking” danger.
And if in some cases it is not possible to escape from smoky air, in some cases you can try to protect yourself and your children. You can take the following simple steps as a rule:
- Among places for recreation, choose establishments (separate halls in establishments) for non-smokers.
- Change clothes and shower after being in a smoking area.
- Insist on the allocation of special smoking areas in institutions, as well as on equipping these places with additional ventilation devices.
It is important to think about the harm that passive smoking can do to a child and to pregnant women. The toxins they inhale will harm the developing fetus, causing pregnancy to fail, slowing down the development and growth of the baby, and increasing the risk of having a child with birth defects. Women who often have to be in smoky places may be at risk of premature birth, have problems with toxicosis and gestation in different trimesters.
Danger for the child’s body
Particular attention should be paid to children who unconsciously become passive smokers through the fault of adults. Often, when smoking parents are at home, not always tracking the movement of children during their breaks, younger family members are “rewarded” with pneumonia, asthma or chronic bronchitis. The heart and nervous system suffer.
Passive smoking is very harmful to children of any age. Scientists have cited laboratory-confirmed facts that wheezing, reduced lung function, hypertrophied bronchial reactions, asthmatic and allergic reactions are the most common results of passive smoking in children and adolescents. Considering that tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide, methane and argon, one can only imagine the danger adults are putting the growing generation.
One can only reread one more statistic, according to which, if one family member smokes at least one pack of cigarettes daily in the apartment, the amount of nicotine in the urine of a small child will be the same as in two cigarettes. And if one of the parents only eventually realizes the level of danger and decides to quit smoking at least within the walls of their own home, it will be necessary to make major repairs so that the remnants of cigarette smoke with nicotine will finally disappear.