What are the risks of passive smoking?

22 September 2015
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Beyond the inconvenience, passive smoking worsens existing conditions and creates new ones. Although risks remain less important than the active smoker but the health consequences are real. These risks increase with the duration and intensity of exposure. In Cameroon, it is estimated that several thousand non-smokers die prematurely each year from diseases caused by passive smoking.

Effects on the fetus

If smoke suffered by pregnant women:
– Secondhand smoke suffered by non-pregnant smokers whose spouse smokes has a measurable effect on the child, although less (- Increased risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and premature birth).

Effects on young children

Smoking in the presence of a child leads to:
– An irritation of eyes, nose and throat
– Increased frequency of ear infections and nasopharyngitis
– A greater risk of asthma attacks and respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis
– A small but significant decrease in lung development
– Increased risk of sudden death in infants

Effects on adults

– Sinus cancer front: passive smoking more than doubles the risk
– Stroke: passive smoking affects the arteries and double the risk of stroke.
– Lung cancer: the risk of developing lung cancer in a non-smoker is increased by 25% if their spouse smokes
– Cardiac Accidents: cigarette smoke exposure increases 50% the risk of having a heart attack.


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