World No Tobacco Day 2020: Passive smoking can lead to long-term ill-effects, including lung cancer, heart ailments and depression
Not just smoking, being around tobacco smoke too is detrimental for one’s health.
Smoking can cause a number of complications in the body and lead to serious long-term ill-effects. The mortality rate of smokers is nearly three times more than that of non-smokers. Diseases such as heart ailments, stroke and lung cancer have all been clearly linked to smoking.
Not just smoking, being around tobacco smoke too is detrimental for one’s health. When a person smokes, most of the smoke does not go to their lungs, but rather dissipates into the air, which others who are nearby inadvertently breathe in.
World No Tobacco Day, which was first created by the member states of the World Health Organisation in 1987, aimed at creating awareness about the harm caused by tobacco.
According to the American Cancer Society, when non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke, it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Second-hand smoke (SHS), they said, has the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale.
Second-hand smoking causes lung cancer, even in people who have never smoked. It may also lead to cancer of the larynx, pharynx, brain, bladder, rectum, stomach and breast.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says second-hand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and non-smokers who are exposed to it are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30 percent.
It also affects the heart and blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Inhaling second-hand smoke interferes with the functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems and increases the risk of having a heart attack.
A study conducted by the University of Miami has even found an association between second-hand smoke exposure and mental health outcomes among children and adolescents. According to the study, second-hand smoking showed depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder in youngsters.
Second-hand smoking has been shown to have ill effects on pregnancy as well. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it may result in miscarriage, low birth weight, early birth, behavioral deficiencies and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome — a condition where a youngster suddenly passes away while sleeping.
The World Health Organisation has said that those who smoke are likely to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus infection.
As per an article in CBS Boston, whenever someone smokes or vapes, they’re breathing out respiratory droplets. If a person is near someone who is smoking and is sick with COVID-19, the other person is at risk of getting sick themselves.
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