Passive smoking.

To begin with, this post is intended to those who smoke and those who live alongside all of these unsuspecting innocent, able men and women. Those who choose to spend money to buy something that not only burns them, but also people who love them and care for them. Now, this might sound exaggerated to most, but trust me, from all the reading that I’ve done about this; it seems scary. I’ve been trying to avoid smoke as much as I can, but since I work in an industry full of people who like to burn tobacco and inhale it deep down, mash it with carbon dioxide and then exhale it out, there’s little I can do to keep myself aloof all the smoke plaguing my environment.

I’ve always known that my life is going to be shorter than my forefathers and trust me, I don’t give a damn. It’s difficult anyway. What concerns me is the way I reach my grave. I certainly don’t want to be another victim of smoke caused death. I’ve discussed this with a few and most seem to think on lines where smoke has become a part of their life and they can do nothing about it. I am very sure that most of them don’t know what they’re doing.

Choosing to smoke and destroying your own health is one thing but passive smoking, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or Secondhand Smoke (SHS), damages the health of those around you. These people have no choice as to whether or not they are exposed to your harmful smoke. Passive smoking constitutes a serious public health risk to both children and adults.

It is also a major source of indoor air pollution. A non-smoker is subjected to both the “sidestream” smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and the “mainstream” smoke that has been inhaled and then is exhaled into their environment by the smoker. Nearly four-fifths of the smoke that builds up in a room containing a smoker is of the more harmful “sidestream” type.

Most of us may not notice the prolonged side effects of passive smoking. Almost all of us believe that we don’t smoke and that keeps us safe. There’s a revelation that I wanted to share

Any person exposed to passive smoking may experience short-term symptoms such as a headache, a cough, wheezing, an eye irritation, a sore throat, nausea or dizziness. Adults with asthma may also experience a significant decline in lung function when exposed to secondhand smoke. Under these conditions it can take as little as half an hour for an individual’s coronary blood flow to become reduced.

It was estimated that prolonged exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, such as in the home, increases the risk of lung cancer by approximately 20 to 25%. Even if you do not accept the accuracy of these percentages, it is well established that you have an increased chance of developing lung cancer through passive smoking if you are a non-smoker but live with someone who smokes. The chances of suffering from ischaemic heart disease is greater for those exposed to passive smoking compared to those who are not. Studies have shown that the risk of experiencing a heart attack is believed to be almost doubled by regular exposure to secondhand smoke.

I mean, this makes my headspin, because I live in a society full of men and women who cannot quit smoking. It’s a part of their intake of oxygen, it’s something that drives their brain to think (something so gaseous?), it’s even something that pushes them to crap in the morning. The bloody burning stick causes pain and suffering beyond our wildest imagination. I do not want to come up with numbers, because guess what? Most of my freinds, smoke. I am a passive smoker. And what can I do about it? Nothing. When I think, what am I without these people? I can see nothing but smoke.

To continue to smoke and put the health of your family and loved-ones at risk would seem, on the face of it, to be a rather selfish act. When you take into account the damage that smoking is doing to your own body then it seems more like insanity. Think of how traumatic it would be if a member of your family became ill or died because of your smoking habit. Now consider the fact that they would feel exactly the same way if smoking ended your life prematurely or made you seriously ill. But well, who cares?

You talk about this to a smoker and he/she would say – TALK TO MY HAND; and there you’d see a lit cigarette.

Amen.