Hazardous Effects of Secondhand Smoke

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Hazardous Effects of Secondhand Smoke We were put on this earth to live. What if something was to swoop in and rip that opportunity from you? How would that make you feel? This one invisible thing lives just amongst us—secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke not only increases the risk of cancer in nonsmokers, but it raises nonsmokers cost of extra medical care as well as causing other health complications. Secondhand smoke (SHS) is a common danger to people in public areas as well as in their homes/cars. Mainstream smoke is the product the smoker inhales and exhales into the environment. Sidestream smoke, however, is way more toxic and can be inhaled by anyone in that particular area. This is because sidestream smoke comes from the burning end of the cigarette which has not been filtered. These fumes will flow directly from that cigarette into the environment. “These dangerous substances linger in the air for approximately 4 hours and breathing in these particles for only minutes can harm you” (“Smoking” par 2). Not only does SHS affect non-smokers greatly, but it can be as destructive to his/her health as it is harmful to the smoker or even worse. Of the 7,000 chemicals in just one cigarette, 250 chemicals are toxic to one’s health...whether it be the smoker or the bystander breathing in the sidestream smoke. 69 chemicals of those 250 are known to cause cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, “approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke”. This statistic derives from the fact that “sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens)…” (“Secondhand Smoke” par 1). In a general gist, secondhand smoke can put an individual at risk of cancer even if they have never smoked a day in their entire life. As the probability of

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