The Truth About Secondhand Smoke

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If you are a regular smoker and are hesitant to quit then consider this: You habit is not only harming your body, it is also harming the bodies of those around you—especially the people you love most like family and friends. Smokers harm those in the surrounding environment via secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the smoke that is exhaled after each puff on a cigarette and it contains over 4,000 toxins  and cancer causing compounds. It can be fatal to both the smoker and the innocent bystander.

There are many ways that second hand smoke harms non-smokers, but it is especially hazardous to those suffering from respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways in the respiratory system. Cigarette smoke is extremely hazardous to people with asthma. It triggers asthma attacks and increases the severity of the attacks.

Inhaling tobacco smoke allows the toxins and irritating substances in the smoke to settle in the moist areas of the airways. This is what triggers an asthma attack; it also makes the attack more intense than usual and more difficult to recover from since the cilia in the airways are damaged and cannot sweep the toxin and junk away and help the breathing process even out.

Smoking also causes major mucus build ups which can be hazardous to asthma sufferers as this further blocks their airways. Additionally, if someone is suffering from a cold or other respiratory illness, inhaling secondhand smoke makes it more difficult for them to clear out the excess gunk and junk backed up in their airways.

Aside from secondhand smoke exaggerating preexisting asthma, secondhand smoke can also cause new cases of asthma to develop in small children. Small children have small and delicate bodies and they breathe much more rapidly than adults. This rapid breathing causes them to inhale more toxins form secondhand smoke than an adult or teenager and the damage to their airways can cause asthma to develop or lead to other respiratory illnesses and difficulties.

The information above about how secondhand smoke damages the health of those around you should make you think upping your altruism—you may not want to give up your smoking habit for yourself, but you should at least want to give it up for the health of those around you. Why damage the bodies of those you love and care about, especially if they are small, vulnerable children. It is never too late to change habits and your smoking habit is definitely one that is worth giving up for good.