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Smoking; Who Does it Really Affect?

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Secondhand smoke is extremely hazardous. It can cause death and dangerous health defects. Therefore, smoking is not only bad for the smoker, but for people around him or her too. However, there are only few laws that restrict public smoking. More legislation on smoking restrictions is needed because secondhand smoke causes asthma attacks in children, heart disease in adults, and sudden infant death syndrome in babies.

These health problems are a result of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes. According to the National Cancer Institute, Beryllium, Butadiene, Chromium, Nickel, and Polonium are just a few of the 69 deadly chemicals that can cause cancer. The Office of the Surgeon General has proven that when inhaled, the same cancer-causing chemicals that smokers breathe enter the non-smokers body through secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the combination of the smoke given off by a burning tobacco product (side stream smoke) and the smoke exhaled by a smoker (mainstream smoke). Because side stream smoke is made at lower temperatures and under different conditions than mainstream smoke, it has larger amounts of many of the toxins found in cigarette smoke. [National Cancer Institute]. Secondhand smoke has over 50 chemicals that cause cancer, and a minimum of 250 can harm you [National Cancer Institute and Office of the Surgeon General]. “The National Toxicology program estimates that at least those 250 chemicals in secondhand smoke are known to be toxic or carcinogenic” [Office of the Surgeon General]. The National Institutes of Health shows that environmental smoke is hurtful enough that it is considered a “Group A” carcinogen. “Group A carcinogens are the most toxic substances known to cause cancer in humans” [National Institut...

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...g to worry about inhaling someone else’s smoke. Therefore, the government needs to take secondhand smoke seriously, and take precautions to help innocent bystanders from being subject to secondhand smoke.

Works Cited

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. Atlanta, GA: 2010. Print.

American Heart Association. “Environmental (Secondhand) Tobacco Smoke.” n.p. 29 Nov. 2010. Web. 8 May 2011.

National Cancer Institute. Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 1999. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 10.

National Institutes of Health. “Other People’s Smoke.” n.p. n.d. Web. 8 May 2011

Office of the Surgeon General, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 4 Jan. 2007. Web. 8 May 2011.
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