The Right to Breath With Ease

1420 Words6 Pages
Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke produced at the end of a burning cigarette and that that a smoker exhales. It can easily be identified by its distinct odor and is retained in clothing, furniture, hair, and curtains. Secondhand smoke contains over 4000 chemicals with more than 50 of these known to cause cancer (Report of the Surgeon General). It contains numerous toxic metals including lead, cadmium, nickel, beryllium, radioactive polonium-210, and arsenic, found in many pesticides (Report of the Surgeon General). A child's body is still developing and highly susceptible to the harmful effects of their environments. “Exposure to the poisons in secondhand smoke puts them at risk of severe respiratory diseases and can hinder…show more content…
Respiratory problems pose the greatest harmful effect of secondhand smoke exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that between 150,000 to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory illness, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, in infants to children aged 18 months, are reportedly caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Of those cases, approximately 7,500 to 15,000 are reportedly hospitalized (ANR). There is a 56% higher risk of hospitalization of an infant with a lower respiratory illness if their mother smokes in the same room. A car is a much smaller space than a room. Asthma is one of the most common known effects of secondhand smoke. Asthma is more prevalent in children who have been exposed to secondhand smoke and causes attacks to become more severe and frequent. “The EPA estimates that 200,000 to 1,000,000 asthmatic children have their condition worsened by exposure to secondhand smoke” (ANR). Secondhand smoke exposure as a child can have lasting effects into adulthood. The respiratory illnesses last throughout ones lifetime. Poor lung function and underdeveloped lungs due to early exposure in the womb is responsible for many respiratory diseases in adults. Exposure to secondhand smoke as a child can lead to metabolic disorders that cause heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. Women have a 68% greater chance of having difficulty conceiving when
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