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Passive smoking

The Saudi authorities are mulling a ban on smoking at public places. If the ban is enforced, it will be a commendable action on part of the government. We all know that smoking is injurious to health. Passive smoking poses similar threats. Passive smoking means breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke. Exhaled smoke is called exhaled mainstream smoke. The smoke drifting from a lit cigarette is called sidestream smoke. The combination of mainstream and sidestream smoke is called second-hand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
Second-hand smoke is a common indoor pollutant in the home, making passive smoking serious health risk for both those who smoke and those who do not. Children are particularly at risk of serious health effects from second-hand smoke.
A person who smokes heavily indoors causes a permanent low-lying smoke cloud that other householders have no choice but to breathe.
Tobacco smoke contains around 7,000 chemicals, made up of particles and gases, over 50 of which are known to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke has been confirmed as a cause of lung cancer in humans by several leading health authorities.
Compounds such as ammonia, sulfur and formaldehyde irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. These compounds are especially harmful to people with respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or asthma. Exposure to second-hand smoke can either trigger or worsen symptoms. — Naheed Akhtar, Jeddah


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