- When the smoke enters your body, it may interfere with your vascular systems including your heart and blood, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
- Even the briefest exposures may damage your blood vessels, causing your blood platelets to become stickier. This sudden change may lead to a heart attack and sometimes can be fatal.
Cigarette Smoke Exposure May Lead to Lung Disease in Non-smokers
Adults who never smoked a cigarette in their life are still at risk of having lung cancer by simply being exposed to cigarette smoke.
- A non-smoker’s constant exposure to secondhand smoke is inhaling the same amount of chemicals and toxins that cause lung cancer as smokers.
- Even the briefest exposures to cigarette smoke may damage cells which set off the process of cancer in motion.
- Frequent exposure to secondhand smoke at home or at work increases the risk of lung cancer and lung cancer deaths.
- Just like active smoking, the longer exposure you have a day to cigarette smoke, the higher the risk of lung disease in non-smokers.
SIDS May Be Linked To Secondhand Smoking
SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants. It will be sudden and unexpected, leaving no hints of health problems, literally unexplained death of a baby in their first year. However, evidence linking SIDS to secondhand smoking has been gathered over the years.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy may increase the risk of SIDS on their child.
- Newborn babies exposed to secondhand smoke are at a greater risk of SIDS.
- The chemicals found in cigarette smoke are likely to affect the part of the brain that controls breathing.
- Infants who died of SIDS have higher amounts of nicotine found in their lungs than babies who died of other causes.
Lung Disease in Non-smoker Children
Lung-related health problems in children are often linked with secondhand smoking.
- Children with parents who smoke develop smaller lungs than normal children who are not exposed to nicotine smoke every day. They tend to get sick easily and more often than normal. They are also at risk to have bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Coughing and wheezing are common with children constantly exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Everyday exposure to cigarette smoke can trigger asthma and the child may suffer severe and more frequent asthma attacks. Severe asthma attacks are very dangerous and sometimes fatal.
- Children who live with a smoker at home often have ear infections, have more fluid in their ears, and often need to be drained by ear tube surgeries.
How to Protect Yourself from Secondhand Smoke
The only way to ensure that you will be able to protect yourself from lung disease in non-smokers is to achieve a hundred percent smoke-free environment. You can achieve that by: