Second-hand Smoke


Imagine yourself sitting down to dinner at a restaurant and eating with your spouse, friend or significant other, when all of a sudden all you can smell is smoke. This is called Environmental Tobacco Smoke (EST) better known as Secondhand smoke. We are being forced to breathe in secondhand smoke whether we like it or not and not only are you just breathing in the smoke; it is also damaging our body at the same time. Secondhand smoke kills and has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in human. In this paper you will be informed of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, and why smoking should be banned from all public places.

When you are a smoker you are making the decision to damage your own body, but little do you know you are also damaging everyone else's body that you smoke around. There is no risk free amount of smoke one can inhale. The American Lung Association has said “secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in humans”. Smoking is dangerous and it says on all cigarette packs that smoking kills you and harms others around you. Every time you breathe in a breath of smoke you are damaging your or someone else’s lungs. When you inhale smoke, you are killing away your lungs’ natural defenses.

Facts about Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke causes almost 50,000 deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year, including approximately 3,400 from lung cancer and 22,700-69,600 from heart disease. If you are exposed to smoke on a regular basis you can eventually paralyze the lungs’ natural cleansing process which causes your lungs work harder. According the American Lung Association, children are more exposed to second hand smoke then adults. “In the United States, 21 million, or 35 percent of, children live in homes where residents or visitors smoke in the home on a regular basis. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year, and causes 430

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. There is a chance that a person who has never smoked a cigarette in their life could develop lung cancer. Including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, pneumonia, periodontitis, and bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, throat, cervical, kidney, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. Smoking is also a major factor in a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer.

Special Interest Groups / Political Action Committee (PAC)
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is a group of individuals drawn together by a common interest in a field of study, teaching, or research when the existing divisional structure may not directly facilitate such activity. There are many special interest groups today who has rallied together to bring attention to this silent killer. For example, The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) is a voluntary non-profit health organization that has worked exclusively in the field of tobacco control for over 30 years. Its mission is to promote public health by eliminating illness and death caused by tobacco, including second-hand smoke.

Political Action Committee is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a matter of state and federal law. The American Lung Association is considered a PAC by receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election through promoting healthcare. The American Lung Association offers a variety of smoking control and prevention programs targeted to specific groups-some aimed at adults, others intended for school use, and still others designed to build bridges between the home and school and involve community leaders along with parents and educators. The mission of the American Lung Association is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

Conclusion
Most of us spend the major portion of our time indoors, where secondhand is produced and re-circulated. This is why it may be the most serious source of indoor air contamination faced by the average non-smoker. Inhaling secondhand smoke is not something to just shrug off as it is a serious matter and the fact that more and more public places are enforcing smoke free environment is a huge step and has raised awareness to the seriousness of this problem.

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