How passive smoking destroys our health

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) pollution, represents a significant threat to human health

by Lorenzo Ciotti
How passive smoking destroys our health
© Sean Gallup / Staff Getty Images News

Secondhand cigarette smoking, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) pollution, represents a significant threat to human health. While the harm caused by active smoking is well documented, the negative impact of passive smoking is often underestimated.

Secondhand smoking occurs when nonsmokers are exposed to toxic chemicals released in cigarette smoke. This can happen in various contexts, such as at home, in the office, in bars or in public places. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), passive smoking is responsible for approximately 600,000 deaths worldwide every year.

There are many health dangers from passive smoking. First, people exposed to secondary smoke are at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. Cigarette smoke can irritate the airways and worsen the symptoms of these conditions, leading to shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Furthermore, the effects of secondhand smoke can be particularly harmful to vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly. In young children, exposure to secondary smoke increases the risk of developing respiratory tract infections, learning and attention disorders, as well as behavioral problems.

Likewise, older adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke may experience an increased frequency and severity of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

How passive smoking destroys our health

In terms of cardiovascular disease, secondhand smoke is associated with a significant risk of developing heart problems.

Toxic chemicals found in secondary smoke can increase blood pressure, increase the risk of blood clots, and damage blood vessel walls. This can lead to coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and ischemia. It is important to note that there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke.

Even a few minutes of exposure can cause significant damage to your health. Additionally, residual smoke odor can remain in fabrics and objects for an extended period of time, exposing people to risks even when there is no active smoking in a particular location.

To protect yourself and others from secondhand smoke, it is important to take preventative measures. Banning smoking in public and private indoor spaces is critical to reducing exposure to secondary smoke. Furthermore, education and awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke can help raise awareness and promote a smoke-free lifestyle.

In conclusion, passive smoking represents a serious threat to human health. Toxic chemicals released in cigarette smoke can cause damage to the lungs, cardiovascular system and increase the risk of respiratory and heart disease.

To ensure better health for all, it is essential to continue to combat exposure to secondhand smoke and promote smoke-free environments.