Second-hand and third-hand smoke travels farther and affects more people than we may think.
Have you ever noticed the strong cigarette smoke smell on another person even after a considerable amount of time after smoking? This is because the harmful pollutants stay on the fabric for a long time. Smoking goes a long way and, in many cases, where a smoker goes for that much craved ciggy break and comes back carrying with him/her the residual smoke and many other contaminants to other people around even long after smoking. Sometimes we can smell it and sometimes we don’t, but it causes more harm than we may know.
What is Second-hand Smoke?
So, what exactly is second-hand smoke? Most commonly, it is cigarette smoke which is not all inhaled and absorbed by the smoker, therefore a large portion of the smoke is exhaled or breathed out from the smoker and goes into the surrounding air. This creates a situation where innocent bystanders or passersby and anyone being close to a smoker breathes second-hand smoke which they may in turn carry it along to others as third-hand smoke. Known to be harmful to anyone exposed to it especially children, smoking has been banned in many public places for this reason, however enforcement and public education is a different matter altogether.
Not just Cigarettes
Second-hand smoke is not confined to sources of only cigarettes but also cigars, pipes, hookahs (shisha), and even vaporisers. Vaporisers or commonly called vapes are electronic smoking devices (ESDs) that emit aerosols of nicotine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fine particles of contaminants and other chemicals including the flavourful smell that gives the user the fragrant and sweet taste. These ESDs are hence more harmful than the ‘harmless water vapour’ that many people think of it to be, with the same being said of hookahs when they are initially introduced to many parts of the world. The cooling and fruity smoke coming out from the pipes and mouths of users feel harmless but they do way more harm as researchers have now identified.
How is it Harmful?
As mentioned above, smoke is harmful for our health especially for children as they have a much lower immunity than adults. Children who are regularly exposed to second and third-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma and heart diseases which is utterly unfair as they are innocent and the surroundings should not be contaminated by inconsiderate tobacco users in the first place. People of this age group are also more susceptible to get respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The residual nicotine and other chemicals that are left lingering in the air and stuck on surfaces have proven to increase the risk of cancer even for non-smokers who are exposed to it. Adults who have a higher level of resistance than the young ones are no exception when it comes to many of the dangers of second and third-hand smoke which is estimated to be the cause of over 30,000 deaths a year. Linked to lung cancer, stroke, and a string of other heart diseases, non-smokers and family members of smokers are often the victims of this occurrence. Very often, we walk into public places where someone is smoking or had been smoking there, with or without the pungent cigarette smell, we are still at risk and that is the reason for more and more campaigns to ban any form of smoking in all public areas.
How to Minimize Exposure to Smoke?
Sometimes we find ourselves in places or situations where it is inevitable to avoid the presence of smoke or its residue, but it does not mean that we cannot have a part in minimising our exposure to it for the sake of our health and our family members. Avoid traveling/ commuting with big crowds and never allow anyone to smoke in the same vehicle as you even if the windows are down. Remind your friends who smoke to keep a distance so that they will not pollute your immediate surroundings and if you are regretfully exposed to it, be kind to your loved ones by changing your clothes once you get home. Using active oxygen is a sure and easy way to reduce the harmful pollutants and smell of second and third-hand smoke for any indoor space as it is able to quickly deactivate the toxicity of smoke, bacteria, mould and allergens in the air and on surfaces. The medklinn air + surface sterilizers are proven to eliminate 99.9% of these harmful contaminants around us. The medklinn Versa is a handy device which can be brought and use anywhere we go to significantly minimise the exposure to smoke.