The Effects of Second Hand Smoke Essay

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The Effects of Second Hand Smoke

Did you know that 3,000 American non-smokers will die this year from lung cancer? Those deaths are entirely preventable. Their lung cancer is caused by second hand smoke. Second hand smoke is smoke they have breathed in from other people's cigarettes. It is also known as involuntary or passive smoking. There is nothing passive however about the effects of this smoke. It is lethal and it is dangerous. It may give as many as 300,000 children under the age of one and half bronchitis and pneumonia. It could even be responsible for more than 35,000 deaths from heart disease.

Smoking causes lung cancer. This fact is indisputable. What is sometimes disputed is the extent to which the smoke from other
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As a carcinogen, tobacco smoke ranks alongside other cancer causing agents such as asbestos, arsenic, benzene and radon gas. Tobacco smoke is full of carbon monoxide. This is a poisonous gas that inhibits the transportation of oxygen to the body's vital organs.

Coming out of the tip of someone else's cigarette are double the concentrations of nicotine. There are three times the amount of the carcinogen benzo (a) pyrene, five times the amount of carbon monoxide and fifty times the amount of ammonia. On top of this the person quietly puffing away next to you is allowing arsenic, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride and hydrogen cyanide into the air that you are breathing. In despite of this knowledge 43% of children in the US are exposed to second hand smoke in their own homes. Despite the attempts of many places to ban smoking there are still millions of people, who are at risk from the effects of second hand smoke. Many of these will die prematurely.

It is perhaps though in children that we see the most alarming effects of the exposure to second hand smoke. Children's lungs are still developing at their young age. Exposure to second hand smoke means they will have a decreased lung function. A child's airways are also smaller. This means a child will have to breath faster. The result is a child will breath in comparatively more of the poisonous chemicals than an adult in the same room.

Exposure of children to second hand smoke leads to an
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