Post by Rachel D.
Featured Image by realworkhard
Personally, I hate walking into a store and smelling the musty, stale smell of secondhand smoke. You can try to hold your breath, but most of the time the stench seems to drift farther than you can hold your breath for. This can not just be me that feels this way, right? Should smoking be banned in public places? Who would it affect? This article will tell you all about secondhand smoke, how it affects people, and how to protect yourself.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes off the end of the burning tobacco product and the smoke exhaled by the user. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse secondhand smoke has 4,000 chemicals, 250 of those are known to cause disease. One of which is Carbon Monoxide. This colorless, odorless gas when inhaled in higher concentrations can kill you in 7 minutes. Since 1964, there are around 2.5 million recorded deaths.
Secondhand smoke Causes:
Believe it or not, smoking affects more than just the user. Being near a smoker for any amount of time can cause many different types of medical issues. Secondhand smoke is known to cause ear infections, asthma attacks, a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome, and respiratory infections in children. In adults, it can cause heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke. It is not only known to cause these medical problems, but also can affect the way you smell. Ick!
Although smoking has decreased in the past years, there is still a large number of people being affected by secondhand smoke. Currently, Minnesota restricts smoking inside of most public buildings. Although, it is still legal to smoke in private areas, most public outdoor areas, and some indoor areas, like hotels and smoke shops. There is still enough smoke produced to affect the nonsmokers.
Illegalizing Smoking in All Public Places
Freedom for non smokers at last. You no longer have to walk longer distances to get away from smokers or keep your car windows closed at a stoplight.
But, wait who is for this. Many smokers argue that smoking is a freedom. But, other smokers agree that this would be a great way to help people quit smoking. The more restrictions placed on smoking tobacco, the harder it will be to use. If the number of smokers were to drop, the number of cases of tobacco causing diseases would drop. And, many other things, like taxes would drop as a result. This sounds reasonable, but more work would be needed to pass this law.
Getting Away from Secondhand Smoke
If nothing can stop the smokers, they will continue to smoke. So how do you get away from secondhand smoke? If you live with a smoker set house and vehicle rules. You can designate areas for smoking. Some other things you can do to keep your air clean are opening windows and adding air filters. If you do not live with a smoker, lucky you! You will only have to avoid areas where smokers are present. When a smoker is near the door to a building, go the extra distance and walk to the next door. If you stay away from smoke, it will be hard to be affected by it.
Tips from Former Smokers
Many smokers regret their decisions of smoking. Think of all the ways secondhand smoke affects you, now can you imagine how it affects the smoker? Terrie, a cancer patient, said, “If you don’t start, you never have to worry about stopping.” You do not want to feel the way that these smokers do. You can find more advice from the former smokers on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Alternatives to Smoking
Like stated, it is hard to quit smoking. It may not seem like of it because of the harsh chemicals and effects of those chemicals. But, the nicotine in a cigarette causes an addiction. Quitting will take commitment and time. To quit many smokers use nicotine patches and gum. This gives them small amounts of nicotine at a time, hopefully slowing the appetite for nicotine. Another way is to go cold turkey, which is to stop buying products with nicotine and resist the addiction and feelings of withdrawal. There are many other options like electronic cigarettes, which have the sensation of smoking without the dangerous smoke. Any of these ways would be a great alternative to the dangerous effects of smoking and secondhand smoke.