Why is it that people smoke, despite the obvious health concerns that are spoon fed to us? There are so many reasons of smoking, such as to gain peer acceptance if they also smoke, or to relieve any stress the smoker is experiancing, or to simply look 'cool'. For some, it is the transition from youth to adulthood.
All of these are very private and personal reasons to smoke, which is fine. However, smoking does not just affect the smoker, it affects everyone and everything else around them. This is known as passive smoking, for those who inhale the excess smoke from the actual smoker. The effect of passively smoking can cause eye irritation, headache, dizziness and nausea. Even 30 minutes of exposure can be enough to reduce ones' blood flow through the heart. It can also cause a significant decline in lung function for those with asthma.
Now, these are the short term consequences of passive smoking. What about the long term? It is said that non-smokers who are exposed to passive smoking in the home will have a 25% increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer. This is only their home though, what about workplaces and the public places? Researchers from London's St George's Medical School and the Royal Free hospital have found that when you include the exposure in the workplace and public spaces, the risk of coronary heart disrease is increased by 50-60%, and these are people who chose not to smoke to avoid these morbid conditions.
When I think about passive smoking, I do not just think about adults walking around inhaling the toxic gas to ocassionally cough and give evils to the smoker, I also picture children walking alongside those adults, inhaling the very same smoke, or new-borns in a pram being pushed by the adult, with the child to their side. Cigarettes or cigars, smoking affects us all whether we are consiously aware of it or not.
I am not saying that there should be a total ban on smoking, it is just impossible with the vast number of people who already depend on it, but should not smokers already be attentive to the fact that their smoke can harm themselves, and most importantly, others as well? I do not know about anyone else, but those anti-smoking advertisements that depict a child breathing in grey smoke really sparked my undisclosed desires to protect these children, especially since I now have a baby nephew who I see everyday.
Details on passive smoking can be found in the link below:
Shouldn't the smokers population be decreasing with all these anti-smoking campaigns rather then increasing?