The impact of passive smoking on human health
Smoking is the most harmful and widespread bad habit all over the world. About how harmful tar and nicotine affect the human body, doctors constantly talk, write on cigarette packages, parents tell their children from childhood, but in spite of everything, millions of people poison their health with cigarette smoke. But besides active smoking, there is also passive smoking. That is, if you do not even smoke, but are in the same room with a smoker, you are no less susceptible to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke
Passive smoking statistics data
Passive smoking is a term that refers to the inadvertent inhalation of air saturated with tobacco smoke released during smoking. At the same time, a passive smoker inhales up to 60% of the toxic toxins contained in cigarette or cigarette smoke.
Interesting fact. In Russia, according to statistics, 60% of men are heavy smokers. The number of women who actively smoke has almost doubled since the 1990s.
Harmful substances that make up the “side smoke”
A non-smoker, getting into a smoky room, begins to experience a headache and nausea. Thus, it is affected by the content of carbon monoxide in the air. When breathing, a person also begins to experience oxygen starvation.
Another toxic element of tobacco smoke is nitric oxide, which causes no less harm to the respiratory tract. The following harmful substances are aldehydes. They cause severe irritation of the respiratory tract and have a depressing effect on the nervous system. Formaldehyde is extremely harmful, mainly, its overwhelming concentration is in the air, and not in the smoker’s lungs.
Hazardous to health is such a highly toxic element as hydrogen cyanide, which destroys the lungs and the body as a whole. Tobacco smoke contains acrolane , an element of incomplete combustion of tobacco. It irritates the mucous membranes of the bronchi and nasopharynx.
The potent carcinogen nitrosamine contained in the smoke destroys the human brain.
In addition to the substances listed above, tobacco smoke consists of more than fifty carcinogens that can cause malignant tumors, and it also contains about 4,000 substances harmful to human health.
The myth of the effects of passive smoking
Tobacco smoke has a very sharp, specific, unpleasant odor – it instantly impregnates hair, clothes, and upholstered furniture. The effect on the human body can be both short-term and long-term. When inhaled for a short period of tobacco combustion products, no significant negative impact on health is observed, the immune system quickly neutralizes all harmful components. But with a long presence in a room where they constantly smoke, significant harm can be done to the health of a non-smoker, so you should not idealize and justify passive smoking.
Body systems affected by passive smoking
First of all, the respiratory system suffers. Tobacco smoke dries the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, poisons the olfactory receptors, which leads to a typical cough and unpleasant tickling in the larynx.
In an unsuspecting non-smoker, allergic rhinitis may begin to actively progress over time, which usually gradually develops into vasomotor rhinitis. This extremely unpleasant condition is accompanied by constant discharge from the nose and swelling, which can cause oxygen starvation of brain cells, short-term cessation of breathing during sleep, and other unpleasant complications.
It is possible to develop a disease such as asthma. It has been proven that in passive “smokers” it occurs 5 times more often than in people who are not exposed to tobacco smoke. And do not forget about such serious diseases as leukemia, obstructive, chronic lung disease and deadly lung cancer.
The effect of smoking on the cardiovascular system
The cardiovascular system is also at serious risk. The smoke exhaled by a smoker contains a huge amount of toxins, which adversely affects the condition of blood vessels, in the walls of which there is a significant decrease in elasticity. This increases the risk of developing angina pectoris and atherosclerosis.
Interesting fact. In the 2000s, in developed civilized countries, smoking caused 30% of all male deaths that occurred between the ages of 35 and 70.
This can lead to coronary heart disease. Chronic oxygen starvation of brain tissue, which occurs as a result of constant inhalation of toxic products from tobacco smoke, threatens the development of a stroke, causing the death of brain cells.
central nervous system
Long-term inhalation of smoke-soaked air poisons a non-smoker and can lead to damage to the nervous system or chronic stress, which adversely affects the state of the human nervous system. Especially harmful is the huge content of nicotine in tobacco smoke.
Nicotine at the first moment activates the nervous system, and subsequently depresses it. As a result, insomnia, overexcitation, cough, headaches, nausea, dizziness, allergic reactions and other negative manifestations appear.
Reproductive system lesions
Smoking also affects the reproductive system. The facts are widely known when the wives of heavy smokers who smoke at home lose their ability to conceive over time. The menstrual cycle becomes shorter and ovarian exhaustion appears much earlier.
There is a strong opinion that passive smoking is much more harmful than active smoking. This common view has been carefully considered by researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer. They came to the unanimous conclusion that it was true. It would seem that at first glance, both passive and active smokers inhale the same smoke, but undeniable facts have been found that indicate that the human body, not subject to nicotine addiction, is more prone to oncological pathologies.
Interesting fact. 95 out of 100 lung cancer patients are heavy smokers.
According to studies, tobacco smoke contains about four hundred thousand toxic chemicals, about sixty-nine of them are carcinogens that are present in smoky air and in much higher concentrations than with direct inhalation of tobacco smoke. For example, benzopyrene (polycyclic hydrocarbon, first class of danger) in tobacco smoke contains 3-4 times more, and volatile nitrosamine (aryl or alkyl radical) 50-100 times more.
The harmful effects of passive smoking on children
Adults can easily protect themselves from passive smoking and the harmful inhalation of tobacco smoke, which cannot be said about children, especially infants. The harm caused by tobacco smoke to a fragile children’s body is catastrophically dangerous. The concentration of toxins that a child receives when inhaling tobacco smoke has a significant impact on the immunity of the child’s body. The situation is aggravated by the fact that, unlike an adult, a child cannot independently go outside or ventilate the room.
As scientific studies have shown, the risk of respiratory diseases, colds, allergic reactions, asthma among children increases by 95% in cases where the mother actively smokes during the feeding period or holds the baby in her arms while smoking.
All adult diseases – bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, otitis media, rhinitis , disorders in the gastrointestinal tract, allergies, malignant tumors and respiratory diseases can occur in a baby with passive smoking. There is also a high risk of neurological disorders in children in whose presence their parents smoke. Such children begin to lag behind in development, both mentally and physically, which can also lead to violations of the psycho-emotional state of the child.
Minors who are under the constant influence of toxins become lethargic, lethargic, sickly, or vice versa aggressive, inattentive, hyperactive, unable to concentrate. All this can have a detrimental effect on schooling and his relationships with peers.
The impact of smoking during pregnancy
Passive smoking is especially dangerous for the health and life of an unborn child in the womb. During pregnancy, the expectant mother must clearly understand that she is in close direct contact with the child, and inhaled toxins and harmful substances enter not only her blood, but also the child’s blood.
What dangers threaten the fetus?
The most tragic situation is the death of a baby in the womb of its mother.
Slowing down the development and growth of the child. Mothers of smokers, as well as passive smokers, often give birth to children with low birth weight.
Interesting fact. In pregnant women who smoke, the risk of preterm birth increases to 27%, and in their daughters it reaches 29%. And if the grandmother also smoked, then the risk of early birth increases to 60%.
The risk of having a baby with congenital defects increases: cleft palate, cleft lip, strabismus or clubfoot.
Hypoxia of the fetus is usually caused by a violation or change in placental blood flow. As a result, the infant may experience deviations in development and intelligence.
Effects of smoking on pets
Pets living in smoky rooms have a huge number of health problems. For example, after castration, obesity develops, and in some cases even cancer. Studies have shown that the most vulnerable pets are cats. With constant and thorough washing, harmful, carcinogenic particles enter their body, which are absorbed into the wool in a smoky room. And, because of their short stature, they inhale carcinogens to a greater extent, which are in the composition of house dust on carpets, floors, rugs. And even with free range, the risk of developing diseases does not decrease.
The researchers also found that dogs, especially neutered dogs that live with smokers, are more obese than those of non-smoking owners. In the course of research, it was found that the gene for cell damage in dogs of smokers is significantly higher than in non-smokers.
The impact of e-cigarettes on passive smokers
It is believed that smoking electronic devices, unlike traditional tobacco smoking, does not annoy or irritate others with the smell of tobacco and does not harm with toxic smoke. But recently it turned out that vapors from smoking electronic cigarettes also settle on furniture, walls, windows and other objects. Passive smokers do not directly inhale harmful smoke, but scientists have not yet figured out how safe nicotine plaque in rooms is for health.
Smoking ES, or so-called “vaping”, is considered a more benign option to maintain addiction to nicotine. The effect on the body is not so dangerous, and with the right dosage, the smoker receives the necessary dose of nicotine and feels quite good. 10 years of existence on the market is not a very long time to assess the consequences of using electronic cigarettes. But given that nicotine in any form is harmful and dangerous, e-cigarettes are used as a first step towards quitting this habit, not as an alternative to smoking.
The impact of secondhand hookah smoking
There are many versions and opinions in defense of hookah smoking, but in general it is a bad habit. There is practically no smoke from the hookah itself, unlike a cigarette, which creates great harm from passive smoking. The combustion temperature in a tobacco hookah does not reach 200 degrees Celsius, while in a cigarette this figure reaches 900 degrees. The smoke exhaled when smoking a hookah consists of only 142 chemical elements, in contrast to cigarette smoke, which contains about 4,700 chemical elements. Recent studies have shown that passive smokers of hookah smoke inhale up to 59% of harmful substances.
Prevention of the harmful effects of passive smoking.
Everything is simple here. To reduce the harm of passive smoking to the maximum, it is necessary to carry out comprehensive preventive measures for tobacco smoking. Introduce new restrictions. But don’t forget the alternatives.
Tobacco prevention includes a number of normative and legislative acts, as well as informational, valeological work.
Today, in a situation with a lack of visual campaigning, such as booklet stands, leaflets, it is simply necessary to intensively intensify propaganda about the dangers of smoking. It is also vital to restore in full the periodic lectures on the dangers of smoking, and especially passive smoking, by nurses and doctors.
In medical work, it is necessary to especially focus on the occurrence of somatic diseases in passive smokers and draw the attention of patients to this.
Is it true that passive smoking is more harmful than active smoking?
A smoker, when he lights a cigarette, inhales nicotine and other harmful substances, which can be conditionally taken as 100%. When exhaling 60% of these substances, he inhales, that is, the smoker gets 40% of the harmful substances, and the person standing next to him – 60%. Due to the conscious choice of a smoker, his body is forced to adapt to a bad habit.
He develops immunity directly to the substances contained in cigarettes. Non-smokers do not have such immunity, as a result of which their body is most susceptible to poisoning by tar, nicotine and other components of the smoke exhaled by an active smoker.
By the way, in families with young children and a smoking adult, when smoking one pack of cigarettes a day, nicotine enters the child’s body as much if he smoked 2-3 cigarettes. And the smoke exhaled after inhaling a cigarette is several times more toxic than when inhaled. In this regard, those who are near a smoking person inhale the air more toxic at times than he himself.