Do you live with a smoker? Effects of second hand smoke are much deadlier. You are not protected from every harmful consequence at all. It may be unfair but that is how it is.
First, what is second hand smoke? It is the mainstream smoke coming from the smoker’s mouth every time he puffs on the cigarette and exhales. It is also the side stream smoke that comes from the burning tip of the cigarette.
So, what are the dangers second hand smoke brings?
Your heart suffers tremendously each time you inhale cigarette smoke.
- Your heart’s arteries age much faster.
- Your heart has to work harder by pumping more blood due to lack of oxygen and the presence of carbon monoxide.
- Your blood pressure goes up. A raise in your blood pressure is one of the dangers your heart faces. It burdens your heart and blood vessels and increases your chance of getting a heart attack or a stroke.
Your lungs take a beating because they inhale poisonous carbon monoxide instead of fresh oxygen.
- Your lungs are now more susceptible to a lot of lung diseases such as the simple cough, the life-threatening asthma attacks, and the complicated chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Lung diseases are negative effects of second hand smoke.
- The airways of your lungs become narrow leading to production of mucus. Too much mucus becomes a danger as it serves as breeding ground for different types of viruses and bacteria.
- These bacteria and viruses can cause lung infections such as tuberculosis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Cigarette smoke causes scarring of your lung tissues.
Your Immune system is ravaged as you consistently inhale cigarette smoke.
- Your immune cells become unhealthy and your immune system produces weak antibodies. These poor quality immune cells and antibodies are unable to effectively control invading viruses and bacteria.
- The cigarette smoke you inhale causes your immune cells to attack the tissues of your lungs scarred by cigarette smoke, thinking they are fighting foreign bodies.
- Second hand smoke kills healthy lymphocytes further causing the immune system not to function as fully as it should.
- It leads to chronic inflammation inside your body, which is the root of all diseases.
Your digestive system is not spared, either.
- Cigarette smoke hinders your pancreas from producing sodium bicarbonate which neutralizes the acids in your stomach. Then it increases the amount of acid that your stomach secretes, and it strengthens H. Pylori bacteria that might already be present in the stomach. All these can lead to peptic ulcers.
- What’s worse is when you seek treatment for your ulcer and you still smoke, the healing takes longer.
- You are also more prone to Crohn’s disease — inflammation of your intestine lining — which is one of the factors for what causes colon cancer. Yes…different types of cancer are the most harmful consequence of exposure to second hand smoke.