Smoking is one of the most expanded habits in the world. People do it for fun, to relax, to get rid of boredom, or simply because someone else does it. Many people have tried campaigning against smoking because it is a direct result of most death cases due to lung cancer or heart disease among smokers. Alas, most of these campaigns were practically useless. Smokers continue smoking and saying: “I am the one that is smoking. I am hurting myself and I am none of your business.” These smokers usually dismiss the existence of secondhand smoke which is the involuntary inhaling of the smoke of a cigarette by nearby nonsmokers. However, according to statistics available at www.lungusa.org:
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.
- Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.
- Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year, and causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the United States annually.
- Secondhand smoke can aggravate symptoms in 400,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma.
These are but some of the statistics mentioned on the website and, these statistics are for the USA only. Other countries probably have even worse cases. So, smoking does hurt a lot of nonsmokers, and especially children.
However, the people that are most hurt by secondhand smoke are those who quit smoking. Such people, who have mustered enough courage to stop smoking for at least a brief time, often return to smoking because they live close to smokers. Each time the smoker smokes, the quitter’s will becomes weaker until, eventually, he or she gets back to smoking and often much worse than before.
Have you ever thought how many people you are hurting when you smoke in a public place such as a park, a pub, or a bus? Have you ever thought that you could be aggravating the symptoms of asthma in a nonsmoker who’s in the same room with you?
Currently, many laws are being passed in order to protect these people who are often involuntarily hurt by nonchalant smokers. More than fifteen states in the USA have banned smoking in almost all public places. Will this be an effective move or just another one of those anti-smoking campaigns?