Being exposed to tobacco smoke is bad for you, even if you’re not the one smoking.
Submitted by Julie Russell RN Tobacco Prevention Specialist Carter, Fallon, and Powder River County
What is second hand smoke?
1. Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette.
2. Smoke exhaled by a smoker.
Every time someone lights up a cigarette, secondhand smoke gets in the air.
How secondhand smoke harms
Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful. At least 69 of the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke cause cancer. Nonsmokers who breath in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and toxic chemicals by the same route smokers do.
Secondhand smoke can stay in the air for hours and even sneak through cracks in windows and doors. Breathing secondhand smoke – even for a short time – can hurt your body. Secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects and can cause health problems in kids, teens, and adults. Someone who is exposed to secondhand smoke for a long time can have long-term problems. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke have increased risk for: Lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many other health issues.
Secondhand smoke can even cause cancer and respiratory problems in your pets.
Protect yourself from secondhand smoke
If you can smell someone smoking, you may be exposed to secondhand smoke. Most secondhand smoke exposure happens in homes, but it also occurs in restaurants, bars, cars; and other public spaces where people might smoke. You can take steps to avoid exposure:
• Spend your time in smokefree places. Having separate smoking and nonsmoking sections in a restaurant, for example, doesn’t protect your from secondhand smoke.
• Ask friends to not smoke if you’re in a car with them.
• Make a plan to find a smokefree space if you’re at a party, concert, or other place where there might be smokers.
If you or someone you love would like to quit or needs to quit smoking, remember to call the MT Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The MT Quit Line will help you with a quit plan, coaching sessions, eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, and reduced cost Chantix and Bupropion. They are open seven days a week 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. MST.
Information reprinted from “teen.smokefree.gov”
If you are interested in learning more about the Clean Indoor Air Act or wish to file a complaint about smoking in a public place visit: