Secondhand Smoke, Is It a Hazard?
In the 1950’s and 60’s scientists gave the people a lot of evidence on the deadly effects of smoking where the tobacco companies on the other hand tried to put the doubt in people’s minds through the campaigns to show that it is not all true. By the time people actually decided to take care of their health and finally saw how life-threatening smoking could be by real life examples, the tobacco companies already got rich from its sales.
Nowadays, nobody doubts that ?firsthand? smoke is deadly to your health and it causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults and asthma and bronchitis in children. Now the industry is onto the secondhand smoke. Scientists and researchers are representing a lot of evidence and research that has been done throughout the years showing that the secondhand smoke can also cause a lung cancer in nonsmokers. The study has been done of people who have been long exposed to secondhand smoke and it shows that 26 out of 33 published studies indicate a link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. The study estimates that the people that were breathing secondhand smoke were 8 to 150 percent more likely to get lung cancer. The tobacco companies are trying to argue the facts and are still in serious debate about the health hazards of breathing a secondhand smoke. A lot of anti-smoking organizations are trying to turn smoking in public into a private activity that does not have to involve nonsmokers breathing secondhand smoke. What is even more important is that many of these organizations convinced a lot of smokers to cut back or quit completely. The problem of secondhand smoke is increasing because it is so common in our society. It makes secondhand smoke the third-ranking cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.
Mothers who live with a smoking spouse have to realize the ill effects of secondhand smoke on children even before they are born. The smoking components reach the developing fetus through the mother. Infants that are born in a smoking environment weigh less and have a weaker chance of becoming a fully developed child. Secondhand smoke leads to blood clots and damages arterial linings which are the two most leading factors in the development of heart disease.
The tobacco companies got scared of the effect that the secondhand smoke research can do to the cigarette makers. The tobacco companies started their own secret studies on how to fight the growing success of antismoking activists. They are trying to show the people that there is no definite evidence to prove that the secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer or any other diseases that the scientists accuse it of. The tobacco industry is trying to influence the science by commissioning a research from sympathetic scientists and sponsoring scientific meetings where they try to carefully bring out their point of view and publish the results in the medical literature. Only 4 percent of the articles that were published from the meetings that were sponsored by the tobacco industry said that the secondhand smoke was unhealthy.
The debate on secondhand smoke has reached the boiling point. When different scientists are using different study designs and different researches and still come up with the same result, it is time to start paying more serious attention to secondhand smoke. When the human evidence is combined with the laboratory experiments showing that the secondhand smoke can cause cancer it is impossible to ignore it any longer. The nonsmokers should have the right to breathe smoke-free air. It is important to have restrictions on where people are allowed to smoke and in particular to keep the work place as a smoke-free environment. The declining rates of smoking show that people can actually quit. Everybody should make an effort to quit for the sake of the people they love.
Secondhand Smoke, Is It a Hazard?