There are two sources of secondhand smoke, the smoke that comes from other smokers, the smoke they exhale and the smoke that comes from the end of the cigarette. The first one is called mainstream smoke and the second one is called sidestream smoke.
Although most teens think that secondhand smoke is harmless and also media propaganda used to lower the number of smokers and a way to influence them that is not the case. Secondhand smoke is really dangerous, as dangerous as smoking itself. Secondhand smoke contains various dangerous chemicals like ammonia, arsenic and even hydrogen cyanide, they are all toxic and all of them are related to cancer development.
Secondhand smoke can increase the risk of:
- Bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections
- Asthma, it can lead to development of asthma and can trigger dangerous attacks in people with asthma
- Sore throat
- Sneezing and sniffing
- Heart disease
- And cancer
Like you can see these aren’t just effects that may occur after a few years, secondhand smoke has immediate effects on our health. Each one of us knows a smoker, that’s either a friend, or a family member or even a coworker when we get older. It’s impossible to isolate yourself completely from secondhand smoke, and that is the problem as even a short exposure can have an influence on our body, and that especially goes for teens and kids as they are still developing.
The same goes if you are a smoker, you are not only hurting yourself, making your health bad, having a smoker smell and wasting money, you are also putting other people in danger, which should be a great motivating to help you quit smoking. Just consider how much good it will do for your health, your wallet and your friends and family’s health if you quit smoking.
There are a few things that you can ask from the smokers you know in order to avoid secondhand smoke. The first and the most basic thing you can do is to ask them to smoke outside and as far away from you and other people. Even greater risks of secondhand smoke come to small children and pregnant women, so if you have some around there is no way you should let someone smoke near them. Also, ask them to wash their hands after smoking before they touch you, your little brother and sister and anyone else. That is even more important if you are in a car with a smoker, either ask him to not smoke while you are in the vehicle or don’t go for that ride.
Fortunately there are plenty of new laws that help us avoid secondhand smoke, but the bottom line is that your friends and family who smoke should understand and respect your health and keep their smoke away from you. If you let them know your concerns they should respect them. Not just that, it may also help them reconsider their unhealthy habit and even quit smoking in order to avoid jeopardizing your health as well.