Passive Smoking: The Impact of Second-Hand Smoke
February 18, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Passive Smoking: The Impact of Second-Hand Smoke


We all know the effect that smoking has on our body, but what not everyone realizes is that passive smoking can be just harmful if not more than active smoking. Passive smoking refers to the fumes created by the end of a cigar or cigarette. Since there is no filter that that smoke passes through when one passively inhales that smoke, it can be very dangerous.

According to research, people exposed to long-term second-hand smoke in their homes or workplace may test positive for having nicotine and carbon monoxide in their blood. This results in them being at the risk of developing the same disease as those who actively smoke.

Impact of Passive Smoking

Passive smoking can be extremely dangerous for everyone, especially young children. Below is a list of the risk associated with passive smoking:

       Passive smoking causes the same diseases as active smoking such as lung cancer and respiratory diseases.

       Even if the impact is not as drastic as lung cancer, passive smoke can interfere with the normal functioning of a heart that can lead to cardiovascular problems.

       Second-hand smoke may lead to damage in the lining of the blood vessels that may result in a heart attack.

       Pregnant women who inhale second-hand smoke are at risk of giving birth prematurely and are more likely to give birth to a child with defects.

       Children exposed to second-hand smoke at home are at a higher risk of developing asthma and allergies. Research has shown that children exposed to smoke may have more serious problems such as poor development in their lungs and respiratory diseases.

How can smokers protect others from second-hand smoke?

As an adult, if you choose to smoke then it is completely your choice and right as a human; however, that does not mean that you can put others at the risk of developing serious health disorders that may take their lives in the future. 

Following are a few of the different ways you can help protect your family and others from second-hand smoke:

       Always ask people around you if it is okay for you to smoke while they are in the room.

       Make sure you do not smoke at all in a house with young children or pregnant women.

       Always open the window or the air conditioning while smoking. If possible, try smoking in open spaces or outdoors.

       Remember that turning the fans on does not take care of the cigarette smoke. Instead of fixing the problem, fans simply disperse the smoke around the room and house.

       The best possible option is quitting smoking for good. To get your body accustomed to being nicotine-free, try switching to cigarettes with lower nicotine content or vapes until you quit for good.

How can you protect yourself against second-hand smoke?

If you are a non-smoker and are hoping to avoid second-hand smoke, continue reading how you can do that:

       Ask people to not smoke around you, especially if you are accompanied by your kids or are pregnant.

       Make sure you sit in the smoking-free areas at restaurants.

       Keep your distance from smoking areas.

       Wear a filter mask such as the N95 to protect yourself against smoke particles outdoors.

       Educate people about the long-term impact that smoking has on their bodies and those around them.

To find out more about the impact of second-hand smoke, it is best to consult a healthcare professional. Shifa4U allows you to book online medical appointments from doctors all over the country. Book your first online appointment with Shifa4U today.





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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.