Random Health Fact:



The Risks of Second Hand Smoke
According to the American Cancer Society, if you "have ever breathed the smoke exhaled by a smoker, then you have breathed most of the same harmful, cancer causing parts of smoke inhaled by smokers." Being exposed to second hand smoke, or as some call it, being an involuntary smoker increases your risks for the same lung diseases as smokers. Your risk depends on the amount of the smoke you are exposed to, and the amount of time you have been exposed for.  Lung cancer is on the rise in non-smokers at an alarming rate, and the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that approximately 4,000 cases or 3% of the annual death rates from lung cancer occurred in those people who were exposed to second hand smoke.

Second hand smoke also causes asthma attacks, heart disease, and is bad for blood circulation. There are some facts that have been put out by the Surgeon General's office and the National Academy of Sciences, which include:

  • Second hand smoke exposure to anyone increases the risk of developing lung cancer
  • Non smoking wives of husbands who smoke have a 30% increased risk of developing lung cancer
  • Children of smokers face a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and bronchitis especially in children two and under
  • Children develop chronic coughs as they get older and are still exposed to the second hand smoke
  • Reoccurring ear infections and reduced lung function

Like an adult, the more second hand smoke the child is exposed to, the higher the risk is of these diseases happening or even causing other chronic health problems. If both parents smoke, the risks are even higher for the child to develop these health problems.

What Can You Do To Avoid The Effects Of Second Hand Smoke?

  • The best thing you can do is to stop smoking. There are plenty of programs that can assist you, ask your doctor or pharmacist for information on programs that can help you stop for good.
  • Always ask to be seated in the Non-Smoking sections of any establishment or airplane that allows smoking
  • Make sure that your child's school and child-care environment are smoke-free
  • Ask guests not to smoke in or near your home

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