Secondhand Smoke. It’s More than an Annoyance. It’s a Serious Health Hazard.
Secondhand smoke is not just a mere annoyance. It’s a serious health hazard. Cigarette smoke is a toxic soup of more than 7,000 chemical compounds — 250 are known to be harmful, and at least 70 cause cancer. Chemicals in the makeup of secondhand smoke include:
Arsenic is a poisonous chemical used to kill plants and rodents. Prolonged exposure may damage a developing fetus and cause an alarming number of cancers.
Cadmium is a metal used to make batteries. Exposure to high levels of cadmium may cause cancer and other health problems.
Cyanide kills cells by depriving them of oxygen. Exposure may lead to serious health issues and death.
Not surprisingly, the scientific evidence on the health risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure is clear, convincing and overwhelming.
Even casual exposure to secondhand smoke has side effects. After just a few minutes of exposure, a nonsmoker can begin to exhibit health problems comparable to those of smokers. Secondhand smoke causes disease and death in people who don’t smoke, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and lung infections. In fact, secondhand smoke kills nearly 50,000 nonsmokers each year.
Given its danger, it is absolutely vital to protect yourself from secondhand smoke. Get started by:
1. Making your home and car smokefree zones
Secondhand smoke can cling to dust and surfaces, as well as rugs, curtains, clothes, food and furniture for days, weeks, months and even years. Also, since people spend a majority of their time at home, the exposure is likely to be prolonged, increasing the risk of illness or disease.
If guests want to smoke in your home or car, politely ask them to do so outside — or better yet, ask them to not smoke at all. If they’re interested in quitting, refer them to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for free help and nonjudgmental support.
2. Separate the myths from the facts
Click here to learn 5 common myths… and the facts that dispel them.
Finally, for more information about the dangers of tobacco, visit StopsWithMe.com.