References Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7, chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome SIDS.
Although he supported workplace smoking bans, he was frustrated by the willingness of so many anti-tobacco activists and public health officials to overlook or minimize the weakness of the scientific case that secondhand smoke causes fatal illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease.
He wondered when it would be possible to have a calm, rational discussion of the issue, one in which skeptics would not be automatically dismissed as tools of the tobacco industry.
I suggested that such a conversation might take place once smoking bans became ubiquitous, at which point the political stakes would be lower.
The article describes a large prospective study that "confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will tell you that "secondhand smoke causes an estimated 3, lung cancer deaths among U. The basic problem is that the doses of carcinogens absorbed by nonsmokers are much lower than the doses absorbed by smokers, so any lung cancer risk would be correspondingly small and therefore hard to detect using the blunt tools of epidemiology.
The associations found in studies of secondhand smoke and lung cancer which generally involve wives of smokers are weak, meaning it may be impossible to rule out alternative explanations. But none of that really matters, Patel says, because the main goal of smoking bans was "to change societal behavior" by stigmatizing smoking, making it less convenient and less socially acceptable.
Indeed, even if you accept every allegation about the hazards of secondhand smoke, it's clear that the real "public health" payoff from smoking bans, in terms of reducing tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, comes from shrinking the number of smokers.
That is not what advocates of smoking bans said, however. Their main rationale was always protecting bystanders, and they never had any patience for the distinction between public and private property, or the notion that people who choose to enter a bar or restaurant where smoking is allowed thereby consent to any risk posed by exposure to secondhand smoke.
By raising the stakes, it helped transform a complaint into a right, so that people annoyed by tobacco smoke now felt justified in demanding that it be eliminated everywhere they might want to go, including other people's property.
The reality is, we probably won't. Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist.
Follow Jacob Sullum on Twitter.Secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer. It has more than 7, chemicals, including at least 70 that can cause cancer.
SHS causes lung cancer – even in people who have never smoked. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in America for both men—and women. (Nope, it’s not breast cancer.) And despite lung cancer’s reputation as “the smoker’s curse,” more than 20 percent of Americans who died from lung cancer in reported having never smoked in their lives, according to the American Cancer Society.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults and sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory problems in children.
There is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, with even brief exposure adversely affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory system. Secondhand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoke, and passive smoke) is the combination of “sidestream” smoke (the smoke given off by .
Secondhand smoke is the smoke you are exposed to when someone nearby is smoking. You breathe in the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, even if you don’t smoke. Secondhand smoke causes instant harm to the lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmoking adults (4, 5). Approximately 3, lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.