The real risks of passive smoking

Passive smoking: the involuntary inhaling of smoke from other people’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.

The keyword here is involuntary. The simple fact is that if you smoke around others, they aren’t the ones choosing to put themselves at increased risk of lung cancer and a range of other health problems.

Over 80 per cent of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, making it almost impossible to detect. When someone lights a cigarette, more than 4000 chemicals are released into the air, and anyone who is in the immediate area is instantly in danger of infections including pneumonia, bronchitis and meningitis.

Children are especially at risk, as their immune systems and lungs are not yet fully developed. Children who breathe in second-hand smoke have increased risks of the following:

  • Asthma
  • Coughs and colds, caused by deficient immune systems
  • Middle ear infection, which can cause partial or complete hearing loss
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia and bronchitis

Not only is most of the smoke invisible, but it can linger in the air for around three hours. Frequent exposure to other people’s smoke will almost put them at as much risk as an actual smoker!

Smoking is not only a danger to your own health but it is a danger to your friends, family and co-workers. It’s food for thought when thinking about where – or even if – we light up that next cigarette.

Source: and

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