The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Smoking cigarettes doesn’t just affect your physical health, it can impact those around you. There is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke, it can cause a range of health problems, especially in children and non-smoking adults. The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care states that secondhand smoke is when someone breathes in tobacco smoke from another person’s cigarette, cigar or pipe. Secondhand smoke contains harmful chemicals that can cause cancer, heart disease, respiratory infections, asthma, and other health problems.
In Australia, exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to a range of health problems. The Australian Government – Department of Health and Aged Care, states that secondhand smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, with 69 of those, linked to causing cancer. Those who do not smoke, but live with a smoker, have an increased risk of developing a disease. They have a 25% – 30% greater risk of developing heart disease, and a 20% – 30% increased chance of developing lung cancer.
Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for children, pregnant women, and pets. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke can have swelling and irritation in their airways, which can lead to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections. Pregnant women who are exposed to secondhand smoke have increased rates of low birth weight, and birth defects. Pets who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of many health problems, including eye infections, allergies, respiratory issues, and cancer.
To protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, it is important to avoid smoking indoors and in public places. If you are a smoker, consider quitting or using nicotine replacement therapy. If you are a non-smoker, try to avoid being around people who smoke, especially in enclosed spaces. If you have pets, keep them away from secondhand smoke as much as possible.
Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that can cause a range of health problems, especially in children and non-smoking adults. Exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to cancer, heart disease, respiratory infections, asthma, and other health problems. By avoiding smoking indoors and in public places, quitting smoking, and encouraging others to do the same, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Remember, quitting smoking is a journey, and it’s normal to stumble along the way. The important thing is to keep trying and never give up. By quitting smoking, you can improve your health, save money, and protect the health of those around you.
How to Quit
Quitting smoking is tough but crucial for your well-being. Various treatment options can assist you in this journey:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): Use nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhaler, or nasal spray to ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Medications: Prescription options like Bupropion and Varenicline help curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms (if clinically suitable).
- Behavioral Therapy: Identify triggers and develop coping strategies through individual or group sessions.
- Combination Therapy: Combine treatments like NRT and medication for increased effectiveness.
- Alternative Therapies: Consider acupuncture, hypnosis, or yoga to support quitting.
- Nicotine Vaping Therapy: Utilise e-cigarettes or vaping devices to replace nicotine intake from combustible tobacco. While less harmful than smoking, long-term effects are uncertain. Use vaping temporarily and consult a healthcare professional before starting.
Our supportive program, led by clinicians, guides you through the quitting process. Multiple attempts are normal, and our team helps you understand cravings, manage triggers, and choose the right replacement products. Quitmate pharmacies stock prescription nicotine products in Australia including nicotine replacement products, medications and nicotine vaping products.
If you are ready to tackle the challenge of quitting smoking, talk to a Quitmate expert today!