Secondhand Smoke

Monday, February 06, 2012

Smokers arent the only ones being harmed by their habit. Secondhand smoke kills, too. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the dangers of secondhand smoke in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Secondhand smoke is tobacco smoke that affects a nonsmoker. It is sometimes referred to as environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoking or passive smoking.

Secondhand smoke contains the same cancer-causing and lung-damaging chemicals that affect smokers. Repeated exposure to secondhand smoke over many years can cause damage to a nonsmokers lungs that is similar to that of a smokers.

Secondhand smoke is the most important risk factor for cancer among nonsmokers, far greater than other known cancer-causing substances. Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and up to 60,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.

Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. It is responsible for as many as 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in children under 18 months of age, resulting in 15,000 hospitalizations each year.

In the United States, 21 million, or 35 percent, of children live in homes where residents or visitors smoke in the home on a regular basis.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.