What is secondhand smoke?
Many people are no-smokers, but they inhale secondhand smoke, which is harmful to their health. When smokers exhale, or the tobacco burns, secondhand smoke occurs. It is a byproduct of burning cigarette, pipe smoking or cigar. It is composed of 2 types of smoke: sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke. The former is from the burning end of a cigarette. The latter one is exhaled by smokers.
Why is secondhand smoke dangerous?
If we are exposed to secondhand smoke, we inevitably inhale many harmful chemicals which may cause cancer. There are over 4,000 chemical compounds in cigarette smoke, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. And there are over 50 cancer-causing chemicals. At least, 250 chemicals are carcinogenic or toxic.
Some people may think inhaling sidestream smoke may have a little risk than mainstream smoke. On the contrary, it contains much higher concentrations of these harmful chemicals, because it is generated under various conditions and at lower temperatures. As we know smoke is generated more at lower temperatures.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program, secondhand smoke has been regarded as an obvious carcinogen. Smokers have a higher risk of suffering from cancer, so do the secondhand smokers.
How to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke?
Don’t think exposure to secondhand smoke is risk-free. Even small amounts exposure can be harmful to your health. So we should try our best to avoid secondhand smoke. In order to do this, there are some ways you can try.
If you or one of your family members smoke, quite smoking is helpful to yourself and other family members. Although it is difficult to quit smoking, it is worth trying.
Separate smokers from nonsmokers
Some areas at home are forbidden to smoke, such as dining room, bedroom etc. If smokers want to smoke, go out and smoke.
Keep air circulating well
If you have no idea of how to deal with smokers, at least you should keep air circulating well. At least, this can help you inhale less secondhand smoke.