Nobody can dispute the fact that cigarette smoking has taken many lives around the globe. There are many studies who support this fact and even people who smoke would not dare argue against it. The more disputed aspect of smoking today rest on its effects to those people who are called “secondhand smoker”. Here are the top 5 myths about secondhand smoke to educate you about its dangerous effects to human system.
MYTH#1 Exposure to cigarette smoke doesn’t harm anyone.
Reuters reported in 2010 that there is an estimated number of 600,000 deaths due to secondhand or passive smoking. This research was conducted by World Health Organization (WHO).
MYTH#2 The smoke will not harm you because only some of the chemicals in a cigarette are in it.
Well it depends on how you will qualify the word “harm”. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide is a proven poison gas to human body. If you can’t call it “harm” then you might want to think of the chemicals in a smoke that can irritate your respiratory tract which can cause difficulty of breathing. Isn’t the difficulty of breathing a form of harm? There are also 4,000 known toxic in a secondhand smoke. Most of these toxic can cause cancer to a person who is averagely healthy.
Myth#3 There is a minimal effect of secondhand smoke to children since they are not the one directly smoking.
Truth: Second hand smoke is very harmful to children both in their early and latter stage of life. Children who grow up with people who are smoking have greater tendency to smoke in the latter period of their lives. The immediate effects of secondhand smoke to children are the following:
- sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS (especially to mothers who smoke)
- Development of Respiratory diseases – asthma, pneumonia, respiratory infection bronchitis.
- Hearing loss due to middle ear disease.
Myth#4 Secondhand Smoking cannot cause cancer.
There are many studies which can debunk this myth. There is a higher chance for a person who inhales secondhand smoke to develop a lung cancer (18 to 32 percent higher) than those who don’t suffer from passive smoking. If your partner smokes and you inhale it most of the time, you can have 24% rate of developing cancer.
Myth#5 Secondhand smoke cannot be linked to men’s impotence and infertility
This is a hoax that many tobacco companies would want people to believe. Men who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke have 200% risk of being impotent than those who inhale clean and fresh quality of air.
On the other hand, according to a British study conducted in 2009, women who are smokers or exposed to heavy secondhand smoke have higher rate of delayed pregnancy.
What to do
The greatest tool against these myths is the power of awareness. You have to educate yourself and others in order to live and enjoy a healthy life. You can also encourage people to stopsmoking today. If they quit smoking now, the world would be a better place to live for the generations to come.