Tobacco is the daily companion of nearly 13 million and a half French. While the smoking-related risks for smokers are significant, those for non-smokers who experience smoke are just as dangerous to their health. The smoke of a cigarette, pipe or cigar contains harmful substances even in small doses: a minimal exposure can trigger or aggravate a pathology.
Who is concerned ?
Tobacco smoke contains many chemical elements dangerous to health. Nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde … They are inhaled by the smoker, but also by his entourage (secondary smoke). This is called passive smoking.
More than three quarters of people say they are embarrassed by the smoke of others. Beyond the inconvenience, the health risks related to second-hand smoke remain largely underestimated: non-smokers are only 15% to fear, for themselves, diseases related to tobacco.
This is particularly dangerous as there is no minimum threshold of safe exposure. Inhaling fumes, even for a few minutes, can have serious health consequences: toxic substances remain in the air for a long time, even after the odor has dissipated.
Adults as children are concerned. Passive smoking also affects fetuses, whether the mother is a smoker or herself exposed to smoke.Important risks for health
According to Public Health France – Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS) , 1,100 deaths in France are attributed each year to passive smoking. It increases by 27% the risk of ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction), and increases the risk of lung cancer by 1.2 . When a non-smoker is exposed to smoke more than 21 hours a week, this risk is even increased by 60%.
Passive smoking can also aggravate existing pathologies. In children, this can lead to nasopharyngitis and more frequent ear infections, increase the risk of asthma and respiratory infections. The danger is real for the fetus: miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy, premature delivery … as well as for the baby (sudden death of the infant).
To a lesser extent but still uncomfortable, fumes and harmful substances irritate the eyes, nose and throat.