World No Tobacco Day 2019: Facts about second-hand smoking

The World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on 31 May, the day is set out by the WHO (World Health Organization). It is celebrated to bring awareness to the harmful effects of tobacco usage and how second-hand smoking can harm the people around smokers.

The World Health Organization says that around 60,000 children die yearly before turning 5-years-old due to infections in the lower respiratory system that are mainly caused by inhaling second-hand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is inhaling the smoke that comes out from burning products that have tobacco, products like pipes, cigars, and cigarettes are the most common ones.

Here are some facts about second-hand smoking:

  • Secondhand Smoke is the reason behind nearly 7400 deaths caused by lung cancer.
  • Nearly 34,000 deaths due to heart-diseases are caused by secondhand smoking.
  • In 50 years (1964-2014), 2.5 million passed away because of secondhand smoking.
  • Secondhand smoke contains toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide.
  • In rare cases, secondhand smoke can also trigger heart-attacks.
  • Most exposure to secondhand smoke occurs in homes and workplaces.
  • Tobacco smoke contains more than seven thousands of chemicals.
  • 70 chemicals are present in tobacco smoke that are known to cause cancer.
  • More than 100 chemicals in tobacco smoke are toxic.

The only way you can keep yourself safe from secondhand smoking is by staying away from people or places where smoking is allowed or by making your house, vehicle, and prohibiting your family members from smoking near you.

You can also get exposed to secondhand smoke in public areas like bars, casinos, grills, restaurants, and other places where smoking is not prohibited.

Health effects of secondhand smoke in Children

Secondhand smoking can cause the following in children

  • Ear Infections
  • Asthma
  • Cough
  • Sneezes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

The World Health Organization warns that infants that inhale secondhand smoke, can experience reduced lung growth and function.



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