Secondhand Smoke Essay

Submitted By mikaylafleak
Words: 928
Pages: 4

Abstract
Smoke not only harms the smoker’s body, but the people exposed to the secondhand smoke as well. There are two types of secondhand smoke, sidestream and mainstream. Sidestream smoke is the smoke that comes off the lighted end. Mainstream smoke is the smoke that the smoker themselves actually blows out of their mouth. Both types contain carcinogens but the particles in sidestream smoke are smaller which allows them to enter the body easier. Secondhand smoke is known for causing cancers and other health problems as well. Some examples are lung cancer, heart disease, and it can even cause heart attacks. Secondhand smoke can also harm unborn babies. Pregnant women that smoke can have babies who have asthma and low-birth weights. Some children that are exposed to secondhand smoke in the womb, out of the womb, or both, can have extreme ear infections as well. There are many ways to quit smoking including patches, medicines, gum, and inhalers. Some people who have smoked for years and quit say they feel like they can breathe better just after a couple months.

Secondhand Smoke Secondhand smoke is responsible for many deaths and diseases in the United States. People who have never smoked a cigarette in their life are getting diagnosed with lung cancer, heart disease, and having heart attacks. It is hard to believe that secondhand smoke can affect a non-smokers body just as much as the body of a person actually smokes cigarettes, but it’s true. Studies show unbelievable numbers of deaths and illnesses in non-smokers related to secondhand smoke. There are multiple ways that people are exposed to this and they don’t even realize it. “Secondhand smoke is a mixture of two forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco.” (Borland & Sleiman, 2012) One form is called sidestream smoke and it comes from the lit end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar. The other kind is the smoke that is exhaled by the smoker and this is referred to as mainstream smoke. Although mainstream smoke is still harmful to the body of a non-smoker, sidestream smoke is worse. The reason for this is sidestream smoke contains smaller particles which allow the carcinogens to enter the body easier. Also, sidestream smoke has a higher count of carcinogens. Carcinogen is just another word for cancer causing agent. When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, it is referred to as involuntary or passive smoking. “Each year in the United States alone, secondhand smoke is responsible for about 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults.” (Borland & Sleiman, 2012) Involuntary smoking isn’t only associated with lung cancer, but other diseases as well. Some of these problems and diseases include asthma, ear infections, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and different vascular diseases. “Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30%.”(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013) One major ingredient in cigarettes is nicotine. “Inhaled nicotine causes vasoconstriction of peripheral and coronary blood vessels, increasing blood pressure and decreasing blood flow to peripheral vessels.”(Potter, Perry, Stockert & Hall, 2013) Involuntary smoking can affect babies also, born and unborn. Women who expose themselves to secondhand smoke put their unborn baby at risk for multiple problems. They could have a stillborn birth, the baby could be underweight, and even delivery complications. If a baby is exposed to secondhand smoke, they have an increased risk for ear infections, acute respiratory infections, and severe and frequent asthma attacks. Studies show that children get sick more often when they have parents that smoke. “Their lungs grow less…