Thursday, November 15, 2012

Passive smoking

Passive smoking

Health consequences of smoking are not limited to smokers. Conversely, exposure to cigarette smoke - passive smoking - dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease among non-smokers, but also the respiratory diseases in children.

Environmental tobacco smoke is the combination of mainstream (smoke exhaled by the smoker) and secondary (smoke emitted from the lit end of the cigarette). Exposure to ambient smoke is called involuntary or passive smoking.
Two thirds of the smoke emitted from a burning cigarette is not inhaled by the smoker, but are released into the atmosphere and contaminate the air. Thus, environmental tobacco smoke contains 2 times more nicotine and tar and five times more carbon monoxide than the smoke inhaled by the smoker.
Passive smoking
Many international institutions, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) classified as a known carcinogen ambient smoke (category reserved for agents for which there is insufficient scientific data demonstrating that causes cancer).
In the United States, passive smoking is believed to be the cause of 46,000 deaths by heart disease each year. In addition, EPA has estimated that exposure to cigarette smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children under 18 months each year.
People are exposed to ambient smoke at home, in the car, at work, in bars, restaurants and other public places.
Although only 3 out of 10 people admit they were exposed to cigarette smoke, 9 out of 10 show a detectable level of exposure in the body. The test measures the level of exposure in the last three days.
Environmental tobacco smoke is assessed by measuring nicotine and other compounds in the air.
Passive smoking
Exposure to cigarette smoke can be detected by measuring levels of cotinine (a metabolic product of nicotine) in the blood or urine of non-smokers. Nicotine, cotinine, carbon monoxide and other compounds were found in nonsmokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

There is no risk-free level exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Studies have shown that even low levels of smoke can be harmful. The only way to truly protect nonsmokers from exposure to cigarette smoke is full and definitive cessation smoking in enclosed spaces. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, aeration and ventilation rooms can not completely eliminate exposure to cigarette smoke.

1 comment:

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