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Secondhand Smoke

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What is secondhand smoke?

Secondhand smoke refers to tobacco smoke that is passively breathed in by people in the vicinity of a person who is smoking. Terms that have been used to refer to secondhand smoke are passive smoking, involuntary smoking, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke from the tobacco product itself (termed sidestream smoke) and exhaled smoke from the smoker (known as mainstream smoke).

When a nonsmoker inhales secondhand smoke, he or she is exposed to the same toxins and chemicals, including nicotine, as the smoker.

Exposure of children to secondhand smoke also increases their health risks; and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of environmental tobacco smoke. About 35% of U.S. children live in homes where smoking occurs regularly. Research has shown that 50% to 75% of children in the U.S. have detectable levels of cotinine (the breakdown product of nicotine) in their blood, so even children who do not live with smokers may be at risk for adverse effects of secondhand smoke. Chemicals from tobacco smoke inhaled by a nursing mother are also known to reach breast milk.

What causes secondhand smoke?

Cigarettes are the most common sources of secondhand smoke, followed by cigars and pipe smoke. People can be exposed to environmental tobacco smoke anywhere - in their homes, in the workplace, and in recreational settings.


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Secondhand Smoke - Experience Question: Please share your experience with secondhand smoke.
Secondhand Smoke - Lung Diseases Question: Do you have a lung disease related to secondhand smoke? Please discuss your symptoms and experience.
Secondhand Smoke - What to do Question: If you are a non-smoker, in what ways have you limited exposure to secondhand smoke?
Secondhand Smoke - Thirdhand Smoke Question: If you understand the concept of thirdhand smoke, describe how you've dealt with the accumulation.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/secondhand_smoke/article.htm

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