The Dangers of Second-hand Smoke

Dangers of second hand smoke

As a smoker the focus is often on the damage the cigarette is doing to your own body. This neglects the fact that smoking can be equally as harmful for your loved ones around you, especially children.

Smoking in a car with children is now illegal in the UK. This is a massive step in the right direction for second hand smoke. Read the below infographic to understand just how bad it can be for those around you.

Second Hand Smoking

It is well known that smoking is bad for our health but the risks of breathing in someone else's cigarette smoke also poses significant health risks.

Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you are being, people around you still breathe in the harmful poisons. This puts them at risk of developing meningitis, cancer, heart disease, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Breathing in second hand or passive smoke increases the risk of developing lung cancer by 24% and heart disease by 25%.


Chemicals in Secondhand Smoke

Whenever you light up a cigarette, second hand smoke is produced; this contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are irritants and poisons, including:

•             Arsenic, which can be found in rat poison

•             Benzene, which is found in petrol fumes and can cause leukaemia

•             Cyanide, which is poisonous and an industrial pollutant.

Cigarette smoke also contains other chemicals and more than 50 are known carcinogens; these are the chemicals that can cause cancer.

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it is harmless; people who breathe in second hand smoke are at risk of developing the same diseases as smokers.


Vulnerabilities in Children

Children are particularly vulnerable because they breathe more rapidly and they have less well developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Up to five million children across the UK are regularly exposed to second hand smoke in the home and babies exposed to second hand smoke have a greater risk of cot death.


Second hand smoke can be a problem anywhere that people smoke, at home, in the car and in public places.

Opening windows and doors or smoking in another room in the house will not make it safe for those around you. Harmful cigarette smoke can blow back inside. As more than 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, you can’t see where it goes, making it impossible to control.

Since 2007, it has been illegal to smoke in enclosed work and public places across the UK. From 1st October 2015, it will be illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under 18 present; both the driver and passenger could be fined £50.

The Alphega ‘Stop Smoking Service’ offers you all the guidance you need to stop smoking and we will support you every step of the way. Our fully trained team will provide you with expert advice on when and how to give up.


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