Secondhand smoke is dangerous to you and those around you.
Let’s talk about secondhand smoke. You know it’s bad for you, but do you know just how harmful it is? Secondhand smoke comes from when a smoker breathes out smoke as well as the lit end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar. Every time it is released into the air, more than 7,000 harmful chemicals are also released, like carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic, and formaldehyde. Two-hundred and fifty of these chemicals are known to cause disease. Not good, right?
Here are five more facts about secondhand smoke that may encourage you to quit smoking and stay quit.
1. When a person smokes, most of the smoke doesn’t go into their lungs. Instead, it goes into the air where nearby individuals can be exposed to its harmful effects.
2. Secondhand smoke kills more than 42,000 nonsmokers each year, including children. Exposure to it significantly increases a person’s chance of health problems such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, breathing difficulties, and lung cancer.
3. Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous to babies and children. It increases the likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, lung problems, and ear infections. Secondhand smoke has also caused worse asthma and asthma-related issues in nearly a million asthmatic children.
4. Even short-term exposure to secondhand smoke can increase health risks and hurt your body. And efforts to reduce exposure, such as separating smokers from nonsmokers in restaurants or opening windows, are not enough to prevent the inhalation of it.
5. Secondhand smoke can linger in the air for several hours after a person smokes. This can result in continued exposure to the harmful chemicals released.
To avoid secondhand smoke, go to restaurants, parks, and other place with smokefree policies. That way you know there won’t be smokers nearby and smoke lingering in the air. If someone you know needs a cigarette, encourage that person to smoke as far away as possible from areas where people frequent, especially indoors. By doing so, you’ll help keep yourself and those you love happy and healthy!
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