Mayo Clinic: Is secondhand cigarette smoke dangerous to my
short answer to your question is yes, secondhand smoke is
dangerous. Secondhand smoke also known as environmental
tobacco smoke is a combination of the smoke coming from a
burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker, which
spreads out to the surrounding space.
smoke contains the same toxic chemicals that are inhaled by
smokers, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, benzene,
formaldehyde, cyanide and a variety of cancer-causing
substances. The effects of these chemicals are greater when
inhaled directly from a cigarette; nonetheless, the effects
are still toxic secondhand.
in secondhand smoke can remain in the air for hours, and the
residue that clings to a smoker's hair, clothing and other
items also may pose health risks, especially for children.
This residue is sometimes referred to as thirdhand smoke.
secondhand smoke is a dynamic mixture that changes as it
travels and mixes with the environment, its hard to
quantify its risk. In general, no amount of secondhand smoke
is safe, because of its inherent toxicity.
indicates that the secondhand smoke exposure that comes from
living with a smoker can increase your risk of lung cancer by
20 to 30 percent. Secondhand smoke also increases your risk of
coronary heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and can lead to a
variety of health risks for children, as well as for pregnant
women and their unborn babies.
active smoking, the greater the exposure and the longer
the duration of exposure the greater the risk of harm,
especially for diseases such as lung cancer. However, even
short-term exposure can worsen symptoms of asthma and coronary
air cleaning devices or filters dont effectively clear the
air of secondhand smoke. The only way to eliminate the risks
of exposure is to eliminate smoking. In recent years,
smoke-free legislation has greatly increased the number of
public places that are now smoke-free.
smoker, smoking cessation can be a difficult journey but an
important one. If you smoke, know that quitting will improve
not only your own health, but also the health of your loved
ones. If you live with a smoker, your full support is
essential to his or her quitting process.