Cigarette smoke is harmful not only to the smoker but also to all those who inhale it as it contains hundreds of dangerous chemicals. Emphysema, asthma and lung cancer are only a few of the health problems caused by cigarette smoke. So if you are a smoker, you are harming not only yourself, but your near and dear ones too. Even if you smoke outside, the cigarette smoke will still cling to your skin, hair and clothing and can harm others when you come indoors.
<strong>Harmful Chemicals in Secondhand Cigarette Smoke</strong>
The dangerous chemicals contained in cigarette smoke include ammonia, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. It also contains carcinogens such as nickel, chromium, cadmium, beryllium, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and arsenic to name just a few.
<strong>Cigarette Smoke Causes Cancer</strong>
Secondhand smoke has been classified as a known carcinogen. About 3,000 adult nonsmokers die because of lung cancer every year in the US due to inhaling secondhand smoke. Health experts estimate that living with a smoker can raise your risk of contracting lung cancer by about 25%. Cigarette smoke also increases the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer, nasal sinus cavity cancer and breast cancer in adults. Children can become more vulnerable to developing brain tumors, lymphoma and leukemia by inhaling cigarette smoke.
<strong>More Health Effects of Cigarette Smoke</strong>
Secondhand cigarette smoke can also cause the following health effects:
<li>Irritates the airways and impacts the inhaler’s blood vessels and heart</li>
<li>In fact, it raises the risk of heart ailments by about 30%</li>
<li>In the US, secondhand smoke is blamed for causing about 46,000 deaths every year due to heart disease</li>
<li>Inhaling cigarette smoke makes children more vulnerable to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.</li>
<li>Secondhand smoke affects children’s lungs and can make them feel breathless, wheeze and cough</li>
<li>43% of US children are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in their homes</li> </ul>
<strong>Safe Level of Cigarette Smoke</strong>
Health experts say there is no such thing as a safe level when it comes to cigarette smoke because even minute levels are harmful. Nonsmokers can protect themselves only by completely eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke. This can only be achieved by not allowing smoking in public places. US federal and state governments are trying to do just this by banning smoking in public facilities, private workplaces and even bars and restaurants.
Smokers should try to quit smoking as soon as possible not just for selfish reasons as the effects of cigarette smoke are dangerous for everyone around them. Even after you quit, decontaminate and clean all items, walls, furniture and clothing in your home to get rid of lingering environmental smoke and deposits.
To learn more about the dangerous effects of smoking, please watch this video:
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