General Article Passive smoking

Topic Selected: Smoking and Health
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You don’t need to be a smoker to suffer the health effects of smoking. The smoker only inhales about 15% of the smoke from a cigarette. The other 85% is absorbed into the atmosphere or inhaled by other people. Second-hand smoke becomes invisible and odourless – this means you can’t see or smell it. Breathing in this smoke is called passive smoking.


Health risks

Passive smokers face the same health risks smokers do. In the short term this can be:

  • sore eyes
  • headache
  • feeling sick and dizzy
  • a reduction of the flow of blood to the heart.
  • The long-term health risks include:
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • lung cancer
  • heart attacks and strokes.


Who it affects the most


Children are in particular danger from passive smoking because they have smaller and weaker lungs. Babies are more likely to die from cot death. They are also more likely to develop chest infections, ear infections and asthma.


When you smoke you also put the health of your pets at risk. ...

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