Quit Smoking Support
Second Hand Smoke
Also known as environmental tobacco
smoke, second hand smoke is a term used to describe cigarette smoke that
comes from two sources—smoke that is exhaled by the smoker (mainstream
smoke) and smoke produced by a smoldering burning cigarette (side-stream
Just half an hour of
second hand smoke can impair normal blood flow to the heart, a Japanese study suggests.
"This change may be
one reason why passive smoking is a risk factor for cardiac disease" and related
deaths in non-smokers, the researchers said in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical
In the study, Dr. Ryo Otsuka of Osaka City University Medical School and colleagues used blood pressure tests and an imaging technique called echocardiography to examine the effect on heart arteries' ability to dilate. Measurements were taken before and after exposure to second hand smoke.
The smoke appeared to impair the functioning of the endothelium, a lining of cells in the arteries that helps regulate dilation. Scientists believe coronary artery disease may begin when the endothelium becomes damaged, leaving the arteries prone to blockages or narrowing. Stanton Glantz, a University of California at San Francisco professor of medicine, said the findings add fuel to the debate over second hand smoke.
"People walking into a smoky restaurant, do they want to be clobbering the ability of the arteries in the heart to get blood to the heart, even if it's just for a little while?" he said.Seth Moskowitz, spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said the study does not change the company's belief that there is no scientific evidence establishing that second hand smoke is a risk factor for lung cancer, heart disease or any other disease in adult non-smokers.
Second Hand Smoke Chemicals
If you are a smoker, you may try not to
think about the chemicals in cigarettes. Poisons, toxic metals,
and carcinogens enter your bloodstream with every puff you take.
Those chemicals affect everything from blood pressure and pulse
rate to the health of your organs and immune system.
Take a closer look at some of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and how they affect your health.
A carcinogen is defined as any substance
that can cause or aggravate cancer. Approximately 70 of the
chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.
Can be found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.
This is a chemical that, in liquid form, is used to preserve dead bodies. In gaseous form, it is responsible for some of the nose, throat, and eye irritation smokers experience when breathing in cigarette smoke.
This is a man-made chemical that is used to make plastics. Smokers are exposed to it through cigarette filters.
Toxic/heavy metals are metals and metal compounds that have the potential to harm our health when absorbed or inhaled. In very small amounts, some of these metals support life, but when taken in large amounts, they can become toxic.
This is commonly used in rat poison. Arsenic finds its way into cigarette smoke through some of the pesticides that are used in tobacco farming.
This is a toxic heavy metal that is used in batteries. Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as non smokers.
Radioactive Toxic Metals
There are a couple of toxic metals in cigarette smoke that carry an extra punch of danger for anyone breathing it in because they are radioactive. Lead-210 (Pb-210) and polonium-210 (Po-210) are poisonous, radioactive heavy metals that research has shown to be present in cigarette smoke.
Poison is defined as any substance that, when introduced to a living
organism, causes severe physical distress or death. Science has discovered
approximately 250 poisonous gases in cigarette smoke.
These are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers. Ammonia is also used to boost the impact of nicotine in manufactured cigarettes.
This is present in car exhaust and is lethal in large amounts. Cigarette smoke can contain high levels of carbon monoxide.
This was used to kill people in the gas chambers. It can be found in cigarette smoke.
This is a poison used in pesticides and is the addictive element in cigarettes.
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Updated February 2019