- Environmental Tobacco Smoke -
Dangers of Cigarette Smoking Secondhand
Environmental tobacco smoke is one of the real dangers of cigarette smoking for smokers and non smokers alike.
The secondhand smoking facts reveal that side stream smoke has many harmful chemicals. Diseases caused by smoking are also seen in the
nons-moker as result of inhaling the smoke coming off the cigarettes of smokers in their environment.
Secondhand Smoke and Mirrors
It started with public complaints over the nuisance of unwanted cigarette smoke in the environment and the possibility that such an exposure would expose non smokers to many of the possible health risks of smoking.
At the time environmental tobacco smoke was considered just a nuisance and an issue of comfort. Nobody wanted to believe that it was actually harmful.
In efforts to gain evidence that environmental tobacco smoke was "safe" for non-smokers, tobacco companies engaged in their own research designed specifically to counter such arguments
and perhaps to be able to develop a product that was "safer" than what was already on the market.
In conducting such research tobacco company scientists used machines that literally "smoked" cigarettes.
It is quite plausible that many of these machines would be in use all day long in the research laboratory.
And then the unexpected! The researchers started complaining that the smoke coming off the machines was quite irritating and offensive.
The tobacco companies were going to great expense to prove that second hand smoke was harmless
and their own researchers started complaining about the secondhand smoking experience imposed by their own occupational environment.
Since that time much has been learned about the constituents of cigarette smoke that is not inhaled by the smoker and the environmental health risks of exposure to second hand smoke.
Facts about Environmental Tobacco Smoke
- The American Heart Association estimates that 22,700 to 69,600 premature deaths from heart and blood vessel disease are caused by secondhand smoking each year.
- Non-smokers who are exposed to breathing in tobacco smoke at home have a 25% higher risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease. If this is added to exposure in the workplace and public places, the risk goes up to as high as 60%.
- secondhand smoke still contains many of the chemicals and carcinogenic
ingredients in cigarettes that are also breathed in by the active smoker.
- 250 toxic chemicals have been identified in second hand smoke, including 50 known to cause cancer.
- According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Of all the facts about passive smoking this one is the most important:
If you can smell cigarette smoke in the air you are engaged in secondhand smoking.
by Beverly OMalley
Read more about the Chemicals Contained in a Cigarette