Secondhand Smoke Causes Cardiovascular Disease
Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease and stroke.2,4,5
- Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers.4
- Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 2530%.1
- Secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 2030%.4
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually.4
Breathing secondhand smoke can have immediate adverse effects on your blood and blood vessels, increasing the risk of having a heart attack.2,3,4
- Breathing secondhand smoke interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of having a heart attack.
- Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the lining of blood vessels and cause your blood platelets to become stickier. These changes can cause a deadly heart attack.
People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposures.1
Final Thoughts On Knowing The Dangers Secondhand Smoke On Those You Love
Secondhand smoke can be as bad as smoking. Its detrimental to your health and can have immediate negative effects. The long-term consequences could be unbearable.
Staying away from it can be hard if you have loved ones or co-workers who smoke. You have to make a choice to be around them and get sick, or to stay away from them if they wont stop smoking. Its a hard choice and one that you can only decide when you search your heart. However, anyone who puts your life in danger is selfish, and it may not be worth sacrificing your health to be around that person.
Just keep these fifteen points in mind as you make your choice. Hopefully, youll choose to live and avoid the bad choices highlighted here.
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
How Is Acute Sinusitis Treated
Acute sinusitis is typically a short-term condition that is not too severe. For many people, little or no treatment is needed. Most people get better on their own after seven to 10 days.
Antibiotics are only helpful for bacterial infections. Most sinusitis is due to viruses or other causes that are not cured by antibiotics.
Other treatment options include ways to manage your symptoms. You can:
- Try nasal sprays and decongestants. You should not use over-the-counter medicated nose sprays longer than three days unless your healthcare provider says you should.
- Get extra rest and drink extra fluids.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you have significant pain.
- Irrigate your nasal passages with saline solution. Since this is just salt and sterile water applied to the nose for cleaning, you can continue longer than five days.
What Is In Smoke
Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer. In second-hand smoke there are at least 69 chemicals known to cause cancer.
- Irritants are chemicals that cause soreness and rawness of the nose and lungs.
- Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas.
- Oxidants cause heart and blood vessel damage.
Children who spend one hour in a very smoky room inhale enough toxic chemicals to equal smoking 10 cigarettes.
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Sinusitis And Secondhand Smoke
Researchers compared secondhand smoke exposures among patients with chronic sinusitis to non-sinus sufferers matched for age, sex, and race in four settings: home, work, public settings, and private social gatherings. None of the study participants smoked.
Participants with chronic sinusitis were almost twice as likely as those without sinusitis to report secondhand smoke exposure at social gatherings and slightly more than twice as likely to report exposure at work .
The patients were also more likely to report exposure at home and in public places, although these associations did not reach statistical significance.
The more places people reported being exposed to tobacco smoke, the higher their risk for chronic sinusitis, study researcher C. Martin Tammemagi, DVM, PhD, tells WebMD.
Tammemagi is an associate professor at Brock University in Ontario, Canada.
The research appears in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. It was funded by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute in Miami.
“Ours is one of the first studies to connect secondhand smoke to rhinosinusitis,” Tammemagi says. “Our research confirms that people are being exposed in large numbers and it indicates that about 40% of cases are caused by secondhand smoke.”
The finding that private social gatherings are an important contributor to secondhand smoke exposure was somewhat surprising, Tammemagi says.
Can Inhalation Of Secondhand Smoke Be Treated
There is no treatment for breathing in secondhand smoke. But there are ways to manage your exposure and treat conditions related to secondhand smoke inhalation.
If you are regularly near secondhand smoke, you can reduce the danger by:
- Moving away from the smoker and finding a smoke-free place.
- Making sure guests to your home know they cannot smoke inside.
- Not letting passengers smoke in your car even with the window down.
Your healthcare provider may treat specific symptoms or diseases caused by secondhand smoke exposure. For example, you may need medications to manage high blood pressure or inhalers to treat asthma or COPD.
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What Are The Dangers Of Secondhand Smoke
All exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. Breathing tobacco smoke increases the risk of developing heart disease. Smoke damages blood vessels and makes platelets stickier. This may interrupt the hearts rhythm, form aneurysms or blood clots, or cause a stroke. Those with diagnosed heart problems need to be vigilant about secondhand smoke.
Even if you dont smoke, secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. Tobacco smoke carries carcinogenic chemicals, and even limited contact can leave cells vulnerable. They can suffer toxic damage that turns them from healthy cells to cancer cells. We know that heavy smokers have more risk of lung cancer. Secondhand smoke exposure works the same way: the more you breathe, the higher your risk.
Think about it another way. Imagine sitting behind a truck with a diesel engine, breathing in black smoke. Tobacco smoke has similar toxins to those that a diesel engine spews out. If you would never sit behind that truck, think of secondhand smoke in the same way. Realize that any exposure to secondhand smoke is risky. Avoiding it altogether is the best way to safeguard your health.
Children, the elderly, and people with health issues are at most risk from secondhand smoke. People living in apartments cant avoid secondhand smoke from neighbors. Cracks in walls, spaces under doors and ventilation systems allow it to travel freely.
How Secondhand Smoke Affects A Child
Smoke contains many irritants and poisons. It is especially dangerous for babies and young children. Their lungs are delicate. Not only is a childs body developing physically, but his or her breathing rate is faster than an adults. Adults breathe in and out about 14 to 18 times a minute. But newborns can breathe as fast as 60 times a minute. When young children breathe smoke-filled air, their developing lungs receive a higher concentration of inhaled toxins. Babies cannot move to another room because the air is smoky. They depend on us to provide them with clean air to breathe.
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Health Effects Of Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2,3,4
Since the 1964 Surgeon Generals Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.1
There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome .1,4
- Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.4
- Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.1,4
Health Consequences Causally Linked to Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Note:The condition in red is a new disease causally linked to secondhand smoke in the 2014 Surgeon Generals Report4
Smoking Changes The Lining Of Your Nasal Passages
The nasal passages are lined with hair-like cells called cilia, which move back and forth. They work with mucus to prevent infection by trapping foreign particles and then sweeping them away, expelling the potential infection out of the body.
The chemicals used in cigarettes, like hydrogen cyanide and ammonia, are toxic to cilia and impair movement. Without movement, theres a buildup of mucus in the nasal passages.
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How Secondhand Smoke Boosts Sinusitis Risk
Secondhand smoke could be the reason for your chronic runny, itchy nose and sinus problems.
Secondhand smoke exposure has been implicated as a risk factor for a number of respiratory ailments, including asthma and other conditions including heart disease and cancers of the sinus and lung.
Research suggests that there could be a link between second-hand smoke and rhinosinusitis.
Correlation of tobacco smoke exposure and sinusitis
According to a study published in Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, researchers compared secondhand smoke exposure among patients with chronic sinusitis to non-sinus sufferers matched for age, sex, and race in four settings: home, work, public settings, and private social gatherings.
Chronic sinusitis, also known as rhinosinusitis, refers to the inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. According to a previous Health24 article, sinusitis affects approximately 30% of the population at some point.
If youve had a history of chronic rhinosinusitis or if you have sensitive nasal passages and sinuses and youre vulnerable, then definitely, absolutely you should avoid secondhand smoke, Dr C. Martin Tammemagi of Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario, who helped conduct the study, explained.
40% of cases caused by secondhand smoke
Participants in the study with chronic sinusitis were almost twice as likely as those without sinusitis to report secondhand smoke exposure at various social gatherings 51% compared to 28%.
Can I Prevent Secondhand Smoke Exposure
The best way to avoid exposure is to stay away from areas where people smoke. This means avoiding restaurants and bars where smoking is still permitted.
Open windows and air filters dont remove all secondhand smoke. But they may help a little by lowering some of the toxins found in burning tobacco. Its okay to ask people not to smoke in your car or in your home.
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Other Habits That Can Affect Your Sinuses
1. Too Much Swimming
While swimming is a healthy activity to partake in, it too can have negative effects on your body. This is typically the case if you do too much of any activity.
Swimming can lead to sinus pain, headaches, and congestion. Sometimes the pressure changes in the water can affect the nose and sinuses. However, an infection can happen due to unsanitary pool water or excess exposure to chlorine.
High levels of chlorine in your system can also cause inflammation of your sinuses. When necessary, reduce your visits to the pool and your nose should begin to feel better.
2. Overusing Nasal Spray
Over time the body adjusts to particular things. For those who show symptoms of acute sinusitis, nasal sprays and decongestants are generally recommended by doctors. You can even purchase these over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
However, overusing decongestants can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, a condition that causes decongestants to worsen your symptoms.
Nasal sprays use a certain chemical to reduce the size of blood vessels. When applied directly to the nasal cavity, it opens up. However, daily use over a long period of time can make your nasal cavity immune to the medicines effect.
The longer you use a nasal spray, the worse your symptoms can get. Try changing nasal sprays or going cold turkey for a few days.
How Your Nose And Sinuses Keep You Healthy
In order to comprehend how smoking harms your sinuses, you need to understand how your nose and sinuses help maintain your health. The membranes in your nose and sinuses are constantly developing mucus to protect your respiratory system.
The lining of your nose and sinuses is the same as the lining in your lungs. There are tiny hair-like structures called cilia that clean the nose, sinuses, and lungs of airborne matter, bacteria, and mucus. Smoking causes the cilia to stop functioning, making the smoker predisposed to increased infections of the lungs and sinuses.
The nose and sinuses create roughly one to two quarts of mucus each day. Usually, all that mucus goes to the back of your throat and you swallow it. When the cilia are damaged by smoking, the mucus backs up in the sinuses and bacteria begins to multiply there. This can result in a sinus infection.
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How Does Secondhand Smoke Affect Children
Young children may seem less vulnerable than infants but their bodies are still developing. Like babies, they cant control their surroundings. Secondhand smoke brings increased incidence of:
- Lung infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis
- Ear infections
- Colds and other respiratory illnesses
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
For children with asthma, secondhand smoke can trigger an attack. Getting sick more often can worsen symptoms and make asthma harder to control.
Avoiding secondhand smoke is crucial to the health of all children.
What Is Secondhand Smoke
Most people know that smoking is dangerous. In the past 50 years, the U.S. has seen a 50% decline in smoking. That has saved an estimated 8 million lives and almost a million deaths from lung cancer. It sounds like were doing well, especially if you dont smoke. Unfortunately, secondhand smoke puts nonsmokers, including children, at risk.
Secondhand smoke is defined as the combination of smoke from burning cigarettes and the smoke breathed out by smokers.
Secondhand smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals. Of those chemicals, hundreds are toxic, and 70 may cause cancer. This poses a risk for everyone, but people with allergies and asthma will suffer more. Inhaling secondhand smoke inflames the airways and weakens respiratory function. This can aggravate symptoms and trigger asthma attacks.
Some of the toxic components of secondhand smoke include:
These chemicals are dangerous to breathe in and they coat surfaces where people smoke. They also settle into house dust for all to inhale.
Banning smoking in your home or car is a good start, but more education is needed about the dangers of secondhand smoke. Human health depends on smoke-free laws in public spaces and housing units.
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How Does Second
Regular exposure to second-hand smoke can cause harm. The risk and severity of the harm depends on the length of exposure and amount of smoke you are exposed to.
For some people, even low levels of exposure can cause physical reactions. These reactions include increased heart rate, less oxygen to the heart and constricted blood vessels that increase blood pressure and make the heart work harder.
In the long term, people exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of suffering from:
- Breathing problems, such as increased coughing, wheezing, pneumonia and asthma
- Heart disease
- Lung cancer
Pregnant women exposed to second-hand smoke can have a greater risk of miscarriages, premature birth and babies with low birth weight.
What You Can Do
- If you or your partner smokes, stop. If you have trouble quitting, ask your doctor for help. To get started, contact the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line
- Do not let anyone smoke in your home. Smoke stays in the upholstery, carpets and curtains and can continue to irritate your child. This is called third-hand smoke.
- If people must smoke, ask them to do it outside.
- Never smoke in the car with your baby.
- Avoid homes, restaurants, and other places where people smoke.
- If other people care for your baby, make sure they do not smoke.
- Wash your hands after smoking.
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Secondhand Smoke And Its Effect On The Fetus And Newborn
Maternal, fetal, and placental blood flow change when pregnant women smoke, although the long-term health effects of these changes are not known. Some studies suggest that smoking during pregnancy causes birth defects such as cleft lip or palate.
Smoking mothers produce less milk, and their babies have lower birth weight. Maternal smoking also is associated with neonatal death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the major cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age.
It Can Cause Nicotine Addiction
It makes sense that someone exposed to the toxins in second hand smoke could become addicted to nicotine just like a smoker. Research has shown that second hand smoke affects the brain. It triggers the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors which are the same receptors that smoking triggers. Even short exposure can trigger these receptors.
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Your Sinuses Cigarettes & secondhand Smoke
If you or your loved one smoke cigarettes or other substances, it may be difficult to have healthy sinuses. Although cigarette smoke has the worst impact on your sinuses, cigars, pipes, campfire smoke, marijuana and cocaine are also harmful to our mucous membranes.
If you wonder what smoke does to your sinuses, take a look at the end of a used cigarette filter. That brown or black gunk gives you a good idea of what happens to your sinuses and lungs by breathing in smoke of any kind.
Cigarette smoke causes irritation to the mucous membrane. The nicotine in cigarettes, for example, harms the nasal cilia so that they canât move. Healthy cilia are the filters that help keep bacteria at bay and remove particles to keep us breathing easy. The weaker your sinuses are , the greater the impact it will have on you. Your sinuses become congested due to your mucous membranes becoming inflamed, and this increases the mucous. Ultimately the cilia stop moving, which creates the risk of infection.
In addition, exposure to secondhand smoke appears to significantly increase the risk of chronic sinusitis. Findings reported in the April issue of Archives of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery, are not surprising, said Dr. Jordan S. Josephson, a sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and director of the New York Nasal and Sinus Center, who wrote Sinus Relief Now.