Passive smoking means breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke. Exhaled smoke is called exhaled mainstream smoke. The smoke drifting from a lit cigarette is called sidestream smoke. The combination of mainstream and sidestream smoke is called second-hand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
Second-hand smoke is a common indoor pollutant in the home, making passive smoking a serious health risk for both those who smoke and those who do not. Children are particularly at risk of serious health effects from second-hand smoke.
In Victoria, it is illegal to smoke in cars carrying children who are under 18 years of age. Irritant effects of passive smoking
Tobacco smoke inside a room tends to hang in mid-air rather than disperse. Hot smoke rises, but tobacco smoke cools rapidly, which stops its upward climb. Since the smoke is heavier than the air, the smoke starts to descend.
A person who smokes heavily indoors causes a permanent low-lying smoke cloud that other householders have no choice but to breathe.
Tobacco smoke contains around 7,000 chemicals, made up of particles and gases, over 50 of which are known to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke has been confirmed as a cause of lung cancer in humans by several leading health authorities.
Compounds such as ammonia, sulphur and formaldehyde irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. These compounds are especially harmful to people with respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or asthma. Exposure to second-hand smoke can either trigger or worsen symptoms. Health risks of passive smoking – pregnant women and unborn babies
Australian data indicates that about 12 per cent of women smoke during pregnancy. Both smoking and passive smoking can seriously affect the developing fetus.
Health risks for mothers who smoke during pregnancy include: •
Increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
Increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight
Increased risk of sudden unexpected...
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