Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and this can be passed on even if you don’t smoke. Children can be affected more because they are still growing.
Even though we think we can all tell when we are in a smoky place, 85% of secondhand smoke cannot be seen or smelled. It lingers in enclosed spaces for around 2 ½ hours. So if you smoke in your home it’s likely to have smoke in it all the time, even if you’ve opened the windows.
Passive smokers face the same health problems smokers do. In the short term the health effects of passive smoking could be sore eyes, headache, feeling sick and dizzy and a reduction of the flow of blood to the heart.
The long-term health risks include:
Increased risk of heart disease
Heart attacks and strokes
Supporting Someone Who Is Giving Up Smoking
Quitting smoking can be tough. If someone you know is trying to quit giving them lots of support will help them stay off the smokes for good. Here are some ideas for how to help.
Help them set and celebrate targets, maybe a trip to the cinema if they manage for a week or a meal out if they manager a month.
It’s a lot easier to avoid socialising in places where people smoke nowadays but if you are at the pub encourage your friend to sit and chat to you whilst the smokers go outside. A party at someone’s house might not be as easy but do your best to encourage them.
Don’t get cross with them if they lapse, they are probably already feeling cross and disappointed anyway. Just support them to give up again.
If you are a smoker, don’t try and tempt them and don’t smoke around them.
More help and Information
Smokefree- You can find out more about the effects of passive smoking, also known as second hand smoke, from this NHS website. The website is based in England so you won't be able to use the advice services.
Can Stop Smoking- If you would like some support for to quit smoking check out the Can Stop Smoking website. You can also call the Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84 Monday to Friday 9am til 9pm.