Secondhand smoke and you
What is Secondhand Smoke (SHS)?
Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a mixture of the smoke exhaled by smokers (mainstream smoke) and the smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products (sidestream smoke).
The Harmful Effect of SHS
Studies show that secondhand smoke, similar to active smoking, can cause many fatal diseases such as heart diseases and cancers. Secondhand smoke contains a complex mixture of more than 7000 chemicals (e.g. cyanide, arsenic), of which at least 69 carcinogens (e.g. nitrosamine, aldehyde, chromium). The concentrations of some toxins contained in sidestream smoke such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, benzene, hydrocarbon compounds etc, were found to be higher than mainstream smoke. In 1992, secondhand smoke was classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as "Group A carcinogen" and there is no risk-free level of exposure for secondhand smoke.
The acute effects of secondhand smoke to human include eye irritation, sore throat and cough. However, in the long run, studies show that secondhand smoke can cause or associate with the following fatal diseases:
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