Secondhand smoke linked to heart and lung disease


These are the same fatal illnesses caused by smoking

Secondhand smoke is linked to heart and lung disease according to a recent study by researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Secondhand smoke has been linked to some of the same fatal illnesses caused by smoking, including heart and lung disease in adults, and low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and respiratory distress syndrome in babies.

Secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled by smokers.

Secondhand smoke contains more that 4,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals.

Women exposed to second hand smoke have a greater chance of having difficulty getting pregnant and suffering one or more miscarriages while children exposed to high doses of secondhand smoke, run the greatest relative risk of experiencing damaging health effects like asthma and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); lower respiratory track infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis and middle ear infections.

Using an objective measure, called serum cotinine, to assess evidence of nicotine exposure in the blood, the researchers found higher rates of lung cancer deaths.

Overall, the researchers found that yearly deaths from secondhand smoke accounted for about 600,000 years of potential life lost, or an average of 14.2 years per person.

“These deaths from secondhand smoke tell us that individuals make choices about their smoking behaviours based on themselves, but they need to think about how their smoking impacts others,” study author Dr. Wendy Max, a professor of health economics at the UCSF School of Nursing and co-director of the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging said.

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