New Study: The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 27, 2007
Quite Smoking…If not for yourself then for the ones you love. — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)
Recent studies show that about one third of non-smokers who are exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke, have similar damage to their lungs as actual smokers. It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that secondhand smoke is bad, it only makes sense that if smoking is bad for you, than secondhand smoke can’t be too good. Right?
To give you an example…Over 15 years ago I had a patient who was dying of lung cancer and had never smoked a day in her life, her husband was the smoker. It was very sad.
I’ve been hearing a lot today (CNN) about two interesting studies on the subject of secondhand smoke. One shows actual MRI images of smokers and non-smokers, with an image of a non-smoker that was exposed to secondhand smoke in the middle. The other was a study out of Indiana, that shows a 70% decrease in heart attacks of non-smokers admitted to the ER, that directly coincides with a smoking ban that was put in place at the same time.
It’s not a smoking gun, but it’s smoking-related, and it’s there in bright medical images: evidence of microscopic structural damage deep in the lungs, caused by secondhand cigarette smoke. For the first time, researchers have identified lung injury to nonsmokers that was long suspected, but not previously detectable with medical imaging tools. — From Science Daily
One third of people who breath in high levels of secondhand smoke have damage to their lungs similar to that seen in smokers, doctors reported on Monday.
. . .
They found that 57 percent of the smokers and 33 percent of the nonsmokers with high exposure to secondhand smoke had signs of early lung damage as measured by the scan.
. . .
In February, U.S. researchers reported that up to 20 percent of women who develop lung cancer have never smoked. — WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Secondhand smoke is putting non-smokers at a greater risk for heart disease as well as lung cancer…
People with no risk factors for heart disease can still experience heart attacks. An Indiana University study found that after a countywide smoking ban was implemented, hospital admissions for such heart attacks dropped 70 percent for non-smokers — but not for smokers.
“Heart attack admissions for smokers saw no similar decline during the study, so the benefits of the ban appear to come more from the reduced exposure to second-hand smoke among non-smokers than from reduced consumption of tobacco among smokers,” said Dong-Chul Seo, lead author and an assistant professor in IU Bloomington’s Department of Applied Health Science.
The study, published in the latest Journal of Drug Education, was the first to examine the effect of public smoking bans on heart attacks in non-smokers. — Newswise
It seems smoking isn’t just bad for your heart and lungs, but also for your brain. Bev from That’s Fit has a post on the affects of secondhand smoke and test scores in high school students…
Lighting up cancer sticks at home hurts your kids’ lungs — it may also hurt their high school test scores. According to a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, 16-18 year-olds sucking in secondhand smoke suffer academic consequences — a whopping 30 percent decrease in the odds of passing standardized achievements tests. — read full post
Gwen from the Cholesterol Blog has this to say…
In my office, I cringe whenever a small group of young men and women slips outside– to light up. Their smoking behavior really disturbs me. I’ve tried bribing them with brownies, but to no avail. On some level, I realize the youngsters need to deal with addiction in their own way and in their own time. This doesn’t stop me from scanning the headlines for smoking-related news, hoping to find a magic bullet that will motivate the kids to kick the deadly habit. — read full post
Emily from News for Cats and Dogs has a post explaining that secondhand smoke also appears to be bad for our pets…
“There have been a number of scientific papers recently that have reported the significant health threat secondhand smoke poses to pets,” MacAllister said. “Secondhand smoke has been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, as well as lung cancer in birds.” — read full post
Secondhand Smoke Facts from the American Lung Association
CDC Fact Sheet on Secondhand Smoke
Quit Smoking at Smokefree.gov
Tanya from That’s Fit says…One of ten ways to stay young is to stop smoking.
Jeni from Savvy Skin says…Secondhand Smoke Sucks.
Apparently, about 50% of non-smokers are actually being exposed to enough secondhand smoke to put them at increased risk for cancer and heart disease. Do you think you could be one of them? What will you do to reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke? Do you think there should be more bans on smoking in public places? Should smokers have the right to smoke, even it they are putting non-smokers at risk? Where do the rights of non-smokers begin, and the rights of smokers end?
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