Ten Second Hand Smoking Facts
No one should be forced to breathe in air tainted with cigarette smoke.
When a cigarette is smoked, about half of the smoke is inhaled / exhaled (mainstream smoke) by the smoker and the other half floats around in the air (side stream smoke). The combination of mainstream and sides stream smoke makes up environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Also known as secondhand smoke, ETS plays a part in more health problems than you might realize.
The following second hand smoking facts point out why it is so important to have smoking bans in place. Secondhand smoke is a toxic cocktail consisting of poisons and carcinogens. There are over 4000 chemical compounds in secondhand smoke; 200 of which are known to be poisonous, and upwards of 60 have been identified as carcinogens.
Second hand smoking facts is serious business, and should be a concern for anyone who breathes it in. Non-smokers inhaling secondhand smoke share some of the health risks smokers’ face. But smokers do face the worst of it – the risks of smoking are compounded by breathing cigarette smoke in for a second time.
Don’t underestimate the dangers of ETS. While secondhand smoke may not kill as many people as smoking does, it is toxic and claims thousands of lives every year around the world.
Here Are Some Second Hand Smoking Facts
Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. Everyone is exposed to its harmful effects.
Guidelines to Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control state that there is “no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke”. Creating 100% smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
Another second hand smoking facts is that second-hand smoke causes 600 000 premature deaths per year. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
Separate or ventilated smoking areas do not protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke can spread from a smoking area to a non-smoking area, even if the doors between the two areas are closed and even if ventilation is provided. Only 100% smoke-free environments provide effective protection that’s another second hand smoking facts.
About 40% of all children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home. Thirty-one per cent of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke occur in children.
Youths exposed to second-hand smoke at home are one-and-a-half to two times more likely to start smoking than those not exposed.
The last second hand smoking facts is that ten per cent of the economic costs related to tobacco use are attributable to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use imposes both direct economic costs on society, such as those associated with treating tobacco-related diseases and indirect costs, such as those associated with reduced productivity or lost wages because of death or illness.
More than 94% of people are unprotected by smoke-free laws. However, in 2008 the number of people protected from second-hand smoke by such laws increased by 74% to 362 million from 208 million in 2007. Of the 100 most populous cities, 22 are smoke-free.
Through the tobacco control package called MPOWER, WHO helps countries to implement the provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to protect people from second-hand smoke.