What can be done about secondhand smoke exposure?
Local, state, and national governments have enacted a variety of laws designed to protect people from health dangers associated with secondhand smoke. These laws vary according to location. The American Lung Association has a listing of these regulations grouped by U.S. state (see References below). Legislation to prevent smoking in workplaces and public buildings is on the rise as the public becomes more informed about the risks of secondhand smoke.
Obviously, quitting smoking if you are a smoker is the best way to protect your family and friends from secondhand smoke. A number of support systems, programs, and even prescription medications are available to help smokers break the habit.
If you are a non-smoker, the safest way to avoid passive smoke is not to allow others to smoke in your home. This is particularly important if there are children in your home. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, smoke-free workplaces are the only way to protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace, since separate smoking areas, cleaning the air, and ventilating the building are not sufficient to prevent exposure if people still are permitted to smoke inside the building.
What is thirdhand smoke?
Thirdhand smoke exposure is a new concept; it is exposure to many of the toxic agents in smoke that have accumulated (as residue) in clothing, drapes, rugs, furniture, dust, and other items due to secondhand smoke. The toxic agents, deposited in and on items from secondhand smoke, can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes of non-smokers, especially by infants and young children. Prevention of secondhand smoke exposure can prevent thirdhand smoke exposure.
The Effects of Second Hand Smoke Essay
1166 Words5 Pages
The Effects of Second Hand Smoke
Did you know that 3,000 American non-smokers will die this year from lung cancer? Those deaths are entirely preventable. Their lung cancer is caused by second hand smoke. Second hand smoke is smoke they have breathed in from other people's cigarettes. It is also known as involuntary or passive smoking. There is nothing passive however about the effects of this smoke. It is lethal and it is dangerous. It may give as many as 300,000 children under the age of one and half bronchitis and pneumonia. It could even be responsible for more than 35,000 deaths from heart disease.
Smoking causes lung cancer. This fact is indisputable. What is sometimes disputed is the extent to which the smoke from other…show more content…
As a carcinogen, tobacco smoke ranks alongside other cancer causing agents such as asbestos, arsenic, benzene and radon gas. Tobacco smoke is full of carbon monoxide. This is a poisonous gas that inhibits the transportation of oxygen to the body's vital organs.
Coming out of the tip of someone else's cigarette are double the concentrations of nicotine. There are three times the amount of the carcinogen benzo (a) pyrene, five times the amount of carbon monoxide and fifty times the amount of ammonia. On top of this the person quietly puffing away next to you is allowing arsenic, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride and hydrogen cyanide into the air that you are breathing. In despite of this knowledge 43% of children in the US are exposed to second hand smoke in their own homes. Despite the attempts of many places to ban smoking there are still millions of people, who are at risk from the effects of second hand smoke. Many of these will die prematurely.
It is perhaps though in children that we see the most alarming effects of the exposure to second hand smoke. Children's lungs are still developing at their young age. Exposure to second hand smoke means they will have a decreased lung function. A child's airways are also smaller. This means a child will have to breath faster. The result is a child will breath in comparatively more of the poisonous chemicals than an adult in the same room.
Exposure of children to second hand smoke leads to an