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The dangers of second hand smoke

Second hand smoke contains over 4000 chemicals. Out of this number 200 are classified as known poisons, and 60 chemicals found to be carcinogenic, meaning to cause cancer. The (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency has classified second hand smoke as a Group A Carcinogen which means there is sufficient evidence proving it causes cancer in humans.

Breathing in tobacco smoke causes health problems in all human beings, mainly because the human body is not designed to withstand the impact of breathing in toxins. All people are affected, even if they are healthy. But tobacco smoke is especially harmful to babies and young children, one reason being their immune systems are not fully developed. Also at risk is anyone with a weakened immune system such as the elderly, those with asthma or breathing difficulties, and those people recovering from surgery or illness.

Especially vulnerable are people with a heart condition, as exposure to (ETS) Environmental Tobacco Smoke has been shown to double the risk of heart attack and mortality. If you live with a smoker you are at more of a risk of heart attack and lung cancer.

The breathing in of second hand smoke is often not taken seriously, but it really should be. Breathing in tobacco smoke is toxic to heart and lungs, as well as all of the major organs of the body.

To prevent second hand smoke from hurting your health, and the health of your loved ones, these simple steps can help you to stay healthy:

1. If you smoke, make a decision to quit, and dedicate yourself to doing one thing in the direction of improving your health each day. When it comes to your health and well being, your doctor is one of your best friends who can direct you how to successfully quit. Do it for the future of your health, and also so that you can enjoy your life with loved ones. Think of the alternative, which ultimately will be early death or an illness that can incapacitate you. Quitting smoking is one of the greatest things you can do for your health, and it is something you will always thank yourself for doing. For more helpful articles and information about creating a smoke free home, and for quitting smoking visit http://www.ghi.com.

2. Do not smoke inside your home. If you or anyone else smokes, ask them to respect the health of your family and smoke outside. You do this because it is a step towards health and healing, but also because you do not want your home, to become a place where toxins and carcinogenic particles can accumulate to the point of making you seriously ill. Home should be a safe and healthy place to be. Eliminating smoking in your home is a good first step to creating this kind of peace.

3. Remember the importance of ventilation. Introduce fresh air into your home at all times. Even on the coldest of days, crack a window so that fresh oxygen molecules can enter the home and help you to breathe. Ventilation is especially important if you are dealing with and trying to eliminate second hand smoke.

4. Filter the air in your home. Install a good air filter into the heating and air conditioning unit of your home. Through my own testing of many air filters, I have found that both Filtrete and True Blue make excellent filters that work well to filter the air. But keep in mind no air filter can remove toxins from ETS. That is why it is so important to smoke outside and not allow smoking in your home.

5. Invest in a good air purifier. Air purification systems that utilize a hepa type filter, along with a carbon filter are excellent for removing allergens from the air. Some air purification systems employ a gas filter along with a thick heavy carbon filter which work well to remove decent levels of tobacco smoke from the air, although they will not remove all toxins from tobacco smoke. Air purification is an important step in reducing harmful substances from the air you breathe. Just remember to avoid Ozone producing air purifiers as the ozone they produce can damage lung tissue and overall health.


References

National Cancer Institute. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monographs: Monograph 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute; 1998. NIH Pub. No. 98–4302 [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2005. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [serial online]. Surveillance Summaries 2005; 55(SS05):1–108 [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5505a1.htm.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Use, Access, and Exposure to Tobacco in Media Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [serial online]. 2005;54(12):297–301 [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5412a1.htm.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2005 Detailed Tables. (PDF–124KB) Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies; 2006 [cited 2007 Mar 13]. Available from: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k5nsduh/tabs/Sect7peTabs58to67.pdf.

Federal Trade Commission. Nationwide Labeling Rules for Cigar Packaging and Ads Take Effect Today. Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission; 2001 [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from: http://www3.ftc.gov/opa/2001/02/cigarlabel.htm. Cancer Institute. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monographs: Monograph 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute; 1998. NIH Pub. No. 98–4302 [cited 2007 Jan 15]. Available from http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html.

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