Second Hand Smoke

The adverse health impacts of second hand smoke from normal tobacco cigarettes cannot be overlooked or denied.  They are both overwhelming and scary.

Approximately 46,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers living with smokers occur annually.  Annual lung cancer deaths in non-smokers total 3,400.    There are even reports that second hand smoke is being linked to being a cause of breast cancer and breast cancer deaths.

Deaths directly attributable to second hand smoke are just the tip of the iceberg concerning possible adverse health effects from being exposed to second hand smoke.  It has been estimated that 50,000 to 300,000 lung infections in children under 18 months develop annually.  Second hand smoke contributes to the exacerbation of asthma which affects approximately 200,000 to 1 million children.  Finally, second hand smoke has been linked to 750,000 middle ear infections in children each year.

Second hand smoke from normal tobacco burning cigarettes originates from the smoking end of a burning cigarette.  Measurements show that there are even higher concentrations of carcinogens in the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette than the smoke that is actually inhaled by a smoker.  The measurements suggest that a non-smoker can be harmed as much or more than a smoker from ingesting cigarette smoke. 

Second hand smoke presents other problems than direct health effects.  Second hand smoke smells bad and is unpleasant to be around – especially if you do not smoke at all.  The smell that accrues on one’s clothes and skin is another unwanted consequence.  These may seem minor inconveniences to smokers, but they are issues that need to be addressed.

Electronic cigarettes are helpful because they do not produce smell.  Friends and strangers alike can rest easier around you and know that you are not bringing harmful chemicals into their surroundings to be absorbed into their bodies.  Everyone will appreciate cleaner air.  Not having to deal with unpleasant odors is always good for everyone concerned. 

To the uninitiated, both cigarettes look basically the same.  Harmless vapor may, at first glance, be mistaken for harmful smoke.  Those around you may have to be enlightened that you are not actually smoking in their presence.