Dangers Of Second Hand Smoke Are Real

For those who doubt the dangers of second hand smoke consider the statistics.

The biggest benefit from limiting secondhand smoke is from the reduction in cardiac disease.

It has been demonstrated several times that towns initiating laws limiting public and workplace smoking see a decrease in heart attack rates within one year of enacting the laws.

Numerous studies of secondhand smoke have been completed over the past 40 years. A meta-analysis of 52 studies prepared for the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health showed that nonsmokers who had long-term (more than 20 years) exposure to secondhand smoke were 1.21 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared with nonsmokers who were never exposed to secondhand smoke.

A second meta-analysis of 25 studies showed that nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke were 20% more likely to develop lung cancer compared with nonsmokers working in a smoke-free environment.

There is no way to “smoke in moderation”.

And there is no amount of “safe” second hand smoke.

A Little Exercise Makes It Easier To Quit Smoking

A recent study shows that even the smallest amount of regular exercise can help smokers kick the habit.

“Our message is to quit and exercise — to do both is the best,” says Chi Pang Wen, a professor at the National Health Research Institute and China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, who presented the data at the World Congress of Cardiology meeting in Dubai.

“Trying to quit is a painful process,” Wen told Shots by phone from Dubai. “That painful process creates a vacuum. This substitute, which is exercise, will distract the smokers from thinking every day about the need to smoke.”

Even for smokers who can’t quit, walking just 15 minutes a day six days a week is enough to improve their health.

Why Stop Smoking Now?

Many people continue smoking even after a cancer diagnosis.

As hard as it is to believe the addiction to nicotine is stronger than than the will to live.

Some people just give up and some are fatalistic but the urge to smoke is overwhelming.

Researchers looked at 2,456 lung cancer patients and 3,063 colorectal patients and discovered that at time of diagnosis, 38 percent of the lung cancer patients and 15 percent of the colorectal patients were smokers.

Lung cancer patient Toni Manes continued to smoke after her diagnosis.
Five months later, despite a cancer diagnosis, 14 percent of the lung cancer patients were still lighting up (ditto for 9 percent of the colorectal patients).

No Jobs for Smokers

Pennsylvania is one of 19 states which allow employers to screen job applicants for signs of smoking, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Following the lead of the Cleveland Clinic in 2007 to create a smoke free campus the Geisinger Health System, a facility located in the eastern town of Danville, PA., will institute its no-nicotine policy on February 1, 2012.

Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, said the measures are commonly adopted to reduce future health-care costs.
He said “there is no denying” the subsequent drop in cost, pointing to a 2003 study that revealed a range of between $500-$2,200 in additional annual medical expenses for smokers when compared to non-smokers.
Dr. Steven Bernstein, a professor at Yale University, added that smokers are also likely to take breaks more often, reducing hours worked.

Are Smokers More Addicted Now Than They Were in the Past?

Are todays smokers more addicted than smokers of the past?

Although today there are fewer smokers it is more difficult for them to quit smoking.

The authors suggest that current policies to reduce smoking — like heavy tobacco taxes and bans on public smoking— might not work as well as they have in the past, because they tend to treat smoking as a choice rather than an addiction. These public-health efforts “may be effective in prodding social smokers with genetic resilience to quit, but may do less to help genetically vulnerable smokers quit,” said Pampel. The research team recommended emphasizing therapeutic quit-smoking approaches instead, like nicotine-replacement therapy and counseling.

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