Secondhand Smoke; know your health risks

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Now more than ever, we know that quitting smoking is essential to our health, but what about us non-smokers still suffering from secondhand smoke on a daily basis? Even with all of the laws put into place, walking down the street can be hazardous to our health. This is very personal for me because until recently I’ve succumbed to secondhand smoke my entire life, so it’s safe to say, I’ve done my research.

What is secondhand smoke? It comes in 2 forms of smoke, the one that comes from the exhale of the smoker and one that comes from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar; which I’ve learned actually contains higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) and is more toxic than exhaled smoke.

What are additional risks of secondhand smoke?

  1. Secondhand smoke has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale and there is no safe level of exposure.
  2. Secondhand smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals with at least 70 that can cause cancer.
  3. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in people who have never smoked and is linked to other cancers like of the voice box, throat, nasal sinuses, brain, bladder, rectum, stomach and breast.
  4. For children, secondhand smoke is linked to lymphoma, leukemia, liver cancer and brain tumors. They get sick more often, have more lung infections, are more likely to cough, wheeze and have shortness of breath.
  5. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
  6. Secondhand smoke has been linked to mental and emotional issues, such as depression.

Hopefully your smoker friends and family take it as far away from you as possible, outside any living spaces, cars or public areas, if not, insist on it. Be aware, stay away and protect your health.

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