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Is secondhand smoke worse for a person's health than smoking?

A Answers (8)

  • A , Internal Medicine, answered

    No.  Secondhand smoke is about 1/4 less bad than smoking yourself.  That is, when someone else smokes a pack in a room where you are, you get the equivalent of about 1/4 of the disease-causing hydrocarbons in damage that they would get.  This is very common in bars where smoking is allowed.  The barmaid or barkeep get about 1/4 of the damage of the total cigarette smoke that they get exposed to.  Pretty bad, but not as bad as smoking yourself.

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  • This is a hot topic since secondhand smoke comes from a smokers clothing, car interior, curtains in the home, and the smoke itself.  Research indicates that second-hand smoke introduces not only nicotine but also other deadly toxins into a non-smokers body. The Environmental Protection Agency calls this environmental smoking or passive smoking. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration labels second-hand smoke as cancer causing, and in the workplace, incidences of heart disease and cancer have increased at institutions where smoking is still allowed. Children living in homes with smokers (even of smokers who smoke outside the home) suffer more from asthma, lung infections, and ear infections.
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  • A Psychology, answered on behalf of
    According to some studies, second hand smoke can be more harmful.
  • A Oncology Nursing, answered on behalf of
    No. Although exposure to secondhand smoke has proven dangerous to both your lungs and heart, secondhand exposure carries less risk than being the one inhaling the smoke directly into your lungs. Although no-smoking bans cover the majority of the US, you may be exposed to secondhand smoke at outdoor events, concerts or in a bar. Obviously, the more open space between you and the smoke, the better. Furthermore, the smell that clings to people who smoke -- on the cloths, car upholstery, hair and so forth -- although offensive to some, the odor can not harm you.
  • The rates of death and disease from actively smoking are higher than the rates for people who inhale secondhand smoke.
  • A Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular), answered on behalf of
    Second smoke is a powerful risk factor for heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • A , Internal Medicine, answered

    No it is the same thing.  It is not any worse and certainly not any better but you certainly should try to avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Smoking and secondhand smoke are bad for health. However, secondhand smoke exposes you to smoke that is unfiltered, which can be just as dangerous as smoking itself. The amount of exposure is related to adverse health outcomes.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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