Clearing the Smoke: The Dangers of Tobacco Use in the Home
Smoking in public spaces has largely been phased out in many places and the same applies to our work environment.
There are also compelling reasons why a self-imposed ban on smoking in your home would be a good idea, once you become aware of the dangers of tobacco use in your personal living space.
The pervasive effect of smoke
Every time you light up a cigarette in your home, you are immediately exposing yourself and other family members to the pervasive effects of secondhand and even third hand smoke, as well as increasing the risk of a fire starting.
There are actually different levels of smoke, from the smoke exhaled by a smoker which is called mainstream smoke to secondhand smoke which includes what comes out of the end of your burning cigarette.
In addition, third hand smoke is the name given to the toxic particles from your cigarette smoke that stealthily settle on to surfaces in your home and remain long after you have finished smoking. It is very hard to argue against the observation that passive smoke exposure presents a health risk to anyone in the house.
Few of us would willingly endanger the health and safety of our family, but that is the potential consequence of smoking at home.
Increased fire hazard
A house fire can often have devastating consequences and smoking in your home will increase the risk of a fire.
An unattended burning cigarette can rapidly lead to a serious house fire and the U.S Fire Administration estimates that almost 1,000 smoker and other occupants lose their lives in fires caused by an unattended cigarette.
A good reason not to put off any AC repair work in your home, would the fact that you need to keep your air circulating and refreshing as much as possible in order to help reduce chemical build-up.
Cigarette smoke contains a potentially harmful variety of chemicals which are particularly adept at clinging to surfaces in your home like walls and ceilings and not only does this lead to unpleasant staining, but it is creating a permanent level of exposure to the chemicals released into the air by cigarette smoke.
Heightened cancer risk
The facts are simple, all secondhand cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals and the smoke exhaled by a smoker which is called mainstream smoke, is harmful, but the side stream smoke or secondhand if you prefer, carries a particular cancer threat.
The reason for this is the fact that side stream smoke contains smaller particles and this means they have a greater ability to enter the lungs and cells of anyone exposed to the cigarette smoke.
The American Cancer Society points out that children and non-smoking adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke, have an increased risk of developing lung cancer and other cancers too.
When dust samples have been taken from the homes of tobacco smokers, they have been found to contain tobacco-specific carcinogens, so even third hand smoke or any smoke for that matter, creates a heightened risk of cancer.
It is perfectly understandable that you would want to make your own choice of whether to smoke in your own home as it is your private space, but it also means that you have to take a moment to consider the potential consequences of your actions for you and your family who live with you.
Sarah M. Martin is a respiratory therapist. She likes to write about breathing better on the internet. Her posts can be found mainly on health and home living websites.
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