“Dr Irena’s” Health Tips – No. 10
We recently had contact with a retired UK doctor who now lives in North Cyprus and met her at Kamiloglu Hospital – Kyrenia Medical Centre where she was looking after reception/patient liaison along with other English speaking people who are giving their time to ensure a good medical service for English speaking expatriates.
Irena kindly offered to write some articles about basic health issues which may be of interest to our readers.
By Irena Hulson
Passive Smoking and its effects on your Health
Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year – more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. If current trends continue, tobacco use could kill more than eight million people per year by 2030, and up to one billion people in total in the 21st century.
The WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2009 tracks the tobacco epidemic, giving governments and other stakeholders the information they need to tailor their interventions.
This year, the report focuses on smoke-free environments. Second-hand smoke accounts for one in 10 tobacco-related deaths. Creating 100% smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
When you breathe in smoke that comes from the end of a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe (side stream smoke) or that is exhaled by a smoker (mainstream smoke), you are inhaling almost the same amount of chemicals as the smoker breathes in. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemical compounds, more than 50 of which are known to cause cancer. These are just a few of the chemicals that float into your lungs when you are exposed to second-hand smoke:
Second-hand smoke exposure causes nearly 50,000 deaths in adults per year
Non-smokers increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30% and heart disease by 25% to 30% when they are exposed to second-hand smoke.
- About 3,000 deaths from lung disease in non-smokers each year are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
- An estimated 46,000 non-smokers who live with smokers die each year from heart disease.
- Between 150,000 and 300,000 children under the age of 18 months get respiratory infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) from second-hand smoke; 7,500 to 15,000 of them must be hospitalized.
- More than 40% of children who visit the emergency room for severe asthma attacks live with smokers.Secondhand smoke can have a number of serious health effects.
Facts published by WHO (World Health Organization) Guidelines to Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control state that there is “no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke”. Creating 100% smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
About 40% of all children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home. Thirty-one per cent of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke occur in children.
- Separate or ventilated smoking areas do not protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke can spread from a smoking area to a non-smoking area, even if the doors between the two areas are closed and even if ventilation is provided. Only 100% smoke-free environments provide effective protection.
- In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
“The opinions, advice or proposals within the article are purely those of the author and do not, in any way, represent those of Cyprusscene.com”