Short Term Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Can Impair Breathing

CigaretteAlthough the dangers of long-term exposure to secondhand smoke are well known, a study conducted by the University of Athens and the Hellenic Cancer Society in Greece, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that short term exposure to high concentrations of secondhand smoke, as little as 20 minutes, can cause immediate impairment of airways.  Researchers exposed healthy adults to a concentration of secondhand smoke designed to mimic the levels found in bars or during a car ride with a smoker present.  Although none of the participants in the study reported feeling negative effects, when their breathing was measured it was found that the exposure was in fact “invoking such physiologic changes as increased airway impedance and resistance.”  This new research will help public health workers more thoroughly understand the risks and consequences of secondhand smoke in public places, and will add to the growing body of data about the effects of secondhand smoke.

While the best way to protect oneself from secondhand smoke is to avoid it altogether, for many people, this is not always possible.  Smoke can easily drift into workplaces from the street, or into homes from neighbors nearby.  Secondhand smoke is difficult to deal with, but there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself if controlling the smoke at the source is not an option.  Stopping the smoke from entering is the first defense, and sealing not only windows and doors, but even electrical outlets can help to block the smoke from coming inside.  Operating an efficient ventilation system can also keep your indoor air clear.  For the smoke that does make it inside, using an air purifier, such as our MinusA2, that combines a true HEPA filter with a charcoal based activated carbon filter can help to filter out the chemicals and odors from secondhand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke Facts and Statistics Infographic

The Negative Health Effects of Secondhand Smoking

A “passive” smoker is someone who inhales the secondhand tobacco smoke generated by others. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the residual smoke that comes from burning tobacco and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Exposure to secondhand smoke is thought to be more harmful than smoking a cigarette directly for the same amount of time. The below infographic details statistics about the negative health effects of secondhand smoke.

You are welcome to use this infographic about secondhand smoke statistics on your own website, please link back to this page or www.rabbitair.com as the source.

All of Rabbit Air’s air purifiers are excellent for smoke removal, secondhand smoke, and the odor from smoke. Cigar Aficionado rated Rabbit Air a top air purifier for smokers,  you can read the article on our site. Choosing the best smoke air purifier for your home is a matter of many factors including room size, filtration needs, unit cost, filter replacement cost, etc. Visit our website to learn more about the air purifier models we offer.

Secondhand and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Facts

Mainstream Smoke is the smoke in the air that is exhaled by a smoker.
Sidesteam Smoke is the smoke in the air from a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar.
Secondhand Smoke (SHS) is a mixture of the 2 above forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco. This is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

SHS worsens asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1,000,000 asthmatic children.

The immediate effects of SHS may include: headache, dizziness, eye irritation, cough, sore throat, nausea

Long term effects may include: stroke, asthma, dementia, cognitive impairment, lung cancer, breast cancer, cardiovascular problems

About 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer each year as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

SHS effects on children may include: allergies, olfactory diseases (nasal), circulatory problems, asthma, respiratory problems, behavioral problems, Crohn’s disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

An estimated 35,000-62,000 deaths occur annually from heart disease in people who are not current smokers, but who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

11% of children 6 years and under are exposed to ETS in their homes on a regular basis (4 or more days per week)

SHS contains thousands of toxic chemicals including: ammonia, butane, chromium, lead, carbon monoxide, cyanide, polonium, formaldehyde