What is secondhand smoke?
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by the smoker.
Is secondhand smoke a health concern?
Secondhand smoke is the third leading preventable cause of disability and early death (after smoking and alcohol) in the United States. Secondhand smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 50,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the United States.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including more than 60 known carcinogens, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans.
What chemicals does secondhand smoke contain?
Ammonia, arsenic, cyanide, and formaldehyde are found in secondhand smoke. These are just some of the harmful ingredients found in secondhand smoke.
Are there secondhand smoke concerns related specifically to children?
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get bronchitis and pneumonia. They are more likely to experience frequent and severe asthma attacks and ear infections. Secondhand smoke causes lung problems, including coughing, too much phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness among school-aged children.
How long does it take for a healthy non-smoker to be exposed to secondhand smoke before experiencing negative health effects?
Within 5 minutes of being exposed, the primary artery (aorta) for blood flow from the heart to the body stiffens as much as it does for a smoker who smokes one cigarette.
What are other names for secondhand smoke?
Environmental tobacco smoke, passive smoke, and involuntary smoking are other names for secondhand smoke.
Do ventilation and separate non-smoking sections eliminate secondhand smoke exposure?
Ventilation and non-smoking sections do not protect people from the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke. According to the 2006 US Surgeon General’s report, eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the ONLY way to completely protect people from secondhand smoke.
To learn more about health concerns linked to smoking and secondhand smoke, refer to the following:
This site provides numerous resources for people who are trying to quit smoking. It includes information on how to build a quit plan, how to manage cravings, and how to support someone who is trying to quit smoking. Resources for health care providers who are trying to help their patients quit smoking are also available.
This site provides information on numerous smoking related topics including cancer, heart disease, and pregnancy.
Or, contact Preston Medical Library at email@example.com or 865-305-9525. Librarians will research questions and provide information on smoking or other health related topics - free of charge.
Learn more about the Consumer & Patient Health Information Service (CAPHIS) - a free public education and health information service.
Post by Donna Doyle