Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and vascular disease in the limbs. It damages the inner lining of the arteries, causing them to narrow , which in turn decreases the blood flow, that can lead to, among other things, heart attacks and strokes. Cigarettes also increase the heart rate and blood pressure in the body, making you more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases.
Passive smoking or second-hand smoking is also harmful as the non-smoker inhales nicotine and toxic chemicals same as the smokers do, placing him or her at risk of lung cancer, and voice box and throat cancers. Passive smoking has been associated with increased risk of respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD as well. In fact, smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman increases the risk of her delivering a low weight baby, having a still-born or having a premature baby
Passive smoking can affect children negatively, making them prone to respiratory disorders like wheezing, even asthma, allergies, sudden infant death and respiratory tract infections.
Most of the passive smoking occurs in colleges, homes and workplaces, when a non-smoker interacts with a smoker. While we cannot stop someone from smoking, we can take steps to protect ourselves by maintaining a distance from smokers to avoid inhaling the smoke, by ensuring that the children’s day care centres and schools are tobacco-free, choosing safe and environment -friendly places for outings and dining and by educating our children and loved ones to avoid smoking and passive smoking.