“Smoking is injurious to health”. “No actor in this film promotes or supports smoking”. “Smoking causes cancer”. I am sure you are wondering what’s with all the statutory warnings. Just another article for smokers to have a change of heart. But no, this article goes out to the poor passive smokers. The innocent bystanders including adults and children who suffer the ill effects.
Passive smoking also known as second-hand smoke and sometimes referred to as ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) is the one that includes both smoke exhaled from a smoker and the one being released from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, and pipe.
Did you know studies reveal this second-hand smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, out of which more than hundred are toxic and 50-70 are cancer causing? So even without participating in smoking, passive smokers are done in. Here’s a fun fact NOT, being exposed to ETS for 5 minutes will stiffen your aorta, making it harder for the blood to be pumped around by heart.
Moving on to long-term and short-term side effects of it. Children tend to suffer more, partially because they aren’t fully developed like adults and because they don’t get a say to maybe leave the ‘chimneys’ and they don’t really know how badly it hurts them. Here’s how:
- ETS stunts their lung development, meaning their lungs never reach their full capacity.
- In babies, the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) increases
- Increased chances of an ear infection which can cause temporary deafness
- Cold, cough and wheezing become common and harder to deal with
- Asthmatic children face more triggered and severe attacks
- Respiratory issues like pneumonia and bronchitis
- Chances of lung cancer, which also stands true for adults
In adults, the list looks like this:
- It can damage the blood vessels lining, makes the blood stickier running the risk of blood clots
- Increased risk of stroke by 20-30%, and other heart diseases by 25-30%
- It can cause erratic heartbeat patterns leading to arrhythmia
- More cases of sinusitis and nasal irritation
- In pregnant women, it can cause miscarriage. Can also increase the risk of ADHD in a child.
- There is also the increased risk of suffering from tumors
After all this, one realizes that it is definitely in the best interest of humanity if people don’t smoke at all, but, many would disagree. In this regard, there was some respite in the form of banning smoking from all public areas, and we all need to lend a hand in ensuring this law gets followed to a T. These harmful agents tend to stick around in places and air hours after they have visibly disappeared. Hence supporting smoke-free areas becomes climacteric. In this regard, personal accountability can lead the way. After all, what we choose to do with our personal life can be our sole prerogative, but endangering others is not.