Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and toxic chemicals the same way people who smoke do. The more SHS you breathe, the higher the levels of these harmful chemicals in your body.
Exposure to secondhand smoke, even for a short time, can be harmful to both children and adults. Most people are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes or the places they work. People may also be exposed to secondhand smoke in public places like bars, restaurants, and casinos, as well as in vehicles. Smokefree laws for all workplaces and public areas protect people who do not smoke. There are also steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke, such as making your home and vehicles smokefree. They also can help people who smoke quit, and can help keep young people from starting to smoke.
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers.
Health effects of secondhand smoke
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7, chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and stroke. Breathing secondhand smoke can have immediate adverse effects on your blood and blood vessels, increasing the risk of having a heart attack.
People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposures. SIDS is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants.
Parents can help protect their babies from SIDS by taking the following three actions: 8. Parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke by taking the following actions: 9. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to options Skip directly to A-Z link.
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Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke. Minus Related s. On This .
Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiovascular Disease. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the lining of blood vessels and cause your blood platelets to become stickier. These changes can cause a deadly heart attack.
Secondhand Smoke Causes Lung Cancer. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults who have never smoked. Do not smoke or allow smoking in your home or around your baby.
Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night. Secondhand Smoke Harms Children. Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children.
Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia. Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in .
Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections. They also have fluid in their ears more often and have more operations to put in ear tubes for drainage. Parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke by taking the following actions: 9 Do not allow anyone to smoke anywhere in or near your home. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car, even with the window down.
If your state still allows smoking in public areas, look for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking.
Top 10 populations disproportionately affected by cigarette smoking and tobacco use
Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta: U. Institute of Medicine. Pediatrics ; 5 —55 [cited Jan 11]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Health risks of secondhand smoke