The Real Effects of Passive Smoking

Many people know the health effects of smoking. But smoking around others, including family and friends, means they are really smoking as well. This is called passive smoking. There are many dangers to passive smoking, especially to children or other people with asthma.

Passive Smoking and Children

  • If you smoke, your children’s risk of wheezing and coughing, as well as ear and chest infections, is increased.
  • Your smoking may also trigger an onset of asthma in children who have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
  • If your child has asthma and you smoke, they will take longer to recuperate after their asthma symptoms than children without asthma.
  • When you are pregnant, your baby’s likelihood of having problems with their lungs are increased if you smoke.

Passive Smoking and You

  • Your lung function is reduced from passive smoking. This effect is multiplied if you have asthma.
  • Many people take medication for their asthma. If you are exposed to smoke from other people, you may need to use more medication to treat your asthma.
  • If you have asthma, the amount of wheezing and coughing you are subject to is increased when you are around people who are smoking. It can also increase the frequency and intensity of your asthma attacks.
  • As well as regular asthma attacks, your lungs become more sensitive to other things that trigger asthma. These include dust, pollen and animal fur.
  • Some of the chemicals that are present in cigarette smoke include ammonia, carbon monoxide and arsenic. These are very harmful to your health. Cigarette smoke also contains carcinogens, which are chemicals that cause cancer.
  • There are many other dangers of passive smoking, not just asthma. Second-hand smoke has been linked to lower respiratory problems, lung cancer and heart conditions.

All in all, your smoking increases the chances of you or your children getting asthma. Once they or you have the condition, the negative health effects of smoking are magnified. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of better health, and protect your children from the harmful effects of second-hand cigarette smoke.

Prevention Tips

  • The most effective prevention of these harmful consequences is to not smoke. By not smoking you are getting rid of the very cause of passive smoking for others.
  • It is illegal to smoke in any indoor public areas in Australia. Most work places are also smoke-free. Increase the time you spend there. These areas most likely have cleaner air than outdoor areas where people are smoking.
  • Make a choice to dine in a non-smoking area when you are at restaurant.
  • If it is unavoidable that you enter an area where people are smoking, be prepared. Bring your asthma puffer or allergy medication with you. Or, take your medication prior to entering the area, so you are less susceptible to the smoke.
  • Educate yourself on the causes of your asthma, and how you can keep it under control.