The dangers of second-hand smoke (SHS) from both cigarettes and cigars are scientifically proven to be severe (on par with the same dangers for an actual smoker). Also known as ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) it is involuntary (smoke is allowed to permeate in the environment without any form of restriction [someone else’s problem now becomes the problem of an innocent bystander]).
Passive smoking (the inhalation of second-hand smoke) comes in two forms:
1. The direct inhalation of smoke that comes from the tip of the burning cigarette or cigar (the smoke that floats off the tip of the cigarette or cigar and that which does not get inhaled by the smoker).
2. The direct inhalation of smoke that the smoker has already inhaled and then exhales into the environment which is then inhaled again by an innocent bystander (both forms are dangerous to the health of somebody else).
SCARY facts from the U.S.A
- Babies are at risk, as every year hundreds of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths occur – a direct result of second-hand smoke.
- Over 150,000 respiratory infections affect the under 18 months old every year in the U.S. (including over 7,500 hospitalizations).
- Young children are affected by second-hand smoke to the tune of around 800,000 a year in the U.S. (linked to a build-up of fluid in the ears resulting in doctor visits).
- Over 1-million children a year who suffer from asthma are affected by having their asthma aggravated by second-hand smoke (including deaths caused by the same).
- The prolonged inhalation of second-hand smoke is also believed to cause the development of learning difficulties and strange developmental delays in many young children.
- Adults are also affected to the tune of around 50,000 deaths a year due to second-hand smoke (primarily from lung cancer and heart disease).
- Pregnant women are also known to be affected by the birth of premature babies (dangerously under-weight babies born too early), and still born babies (the baby dies in the womb at 20 weeks of pregnancy).
It is believed where mothers are exposed to the equivalent of 25 cigarettes (less for cigars as the smoke is stronger) in second-hand smoke; they have around a 23% chance of suffering a stillbirth, and a 13% chance of giving birth to a baby with some form of defect (certain defects are the root cause of a stillbirth).
Note: The long-term effects of second-hand smoke (inhaled through both the nose and mouth) are the same as those suffered by smokers themselves. For example, the increased risk of developing: brain cancer, breast cancer (70% higher risk in pre-menopausal women), high blood pressure (an increased risk for heart disease), lung cancer (the number-1 cause of smoke related deaths), and renal carcinoma ([RCC] a form of kidney cancer).
Other illnesses caused by the direct inhalation of second-hand smoke include: bronchitis, lung infections, and the increased risk of developing tuberculosis where smoke is inhaled after it has been exhaled by a tuberculosis sufferer (smoker).