It is well established that smoking is dangerous for health. It includes addictive substance i.e. nicotine which alters brain chemistry of the addict. Everyone knows that smoking is responsible for fatal diseases like cancer; respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis; cardiovascular diseases such as peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease, stroke and abdominal aortic aneurysm; reproductive problems such as pregnancy complications, birth defects and sexual dysfunctions; diabetes; immune system diseases; and eye diseases. However, comparatively few people are aware that the smoke which smokers release can even become more dangerous for those who don’t smoke.
Mehwish Mursaleen is MPhil in Clinical Psychology and pursuing her PhD in similar field from Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi. She has provided mental health services to people having different psychological problems coming from different age groups and backgrounds. Her research work is based on IQ, Emotional Intelligence, Academic achievement and Aggression in adolescents. She also has published case studies on CBT for depression and panic disorder. Her interests are in the areas of counselling, psychotherapy, and psychological assessment.
Editor: Mr. Wakeel Murad
Dating back to 2013 when Willing Ways Islamabad conducted seminar on Smoking and Addiction, it was discussed and then published in the form of article showing that the consequences of addiction are not only obvious for the smoker but also on his/her surroundings. The question arises here is how this could be possible if one person is smoking then the people around him who even don’t smoke are in danger. We describe here a process called second hand smoking through which the substance becomes hazardous for the society around smoker. Second hand smoke is defined as the smoke coming out of the smoker’s breathe which doesn’t reach deeply into the lungs. This includes the dirty air full of carbon di oxide (CO2) exhaled out after absorption of fresh air oxygen into the lungs. All this combined with residual smoke coming out of cigarette, pipe or cigar is mixed in the air and thus reaches to people around the smoker. Even this residual material becomes more dangerous than the addictive substance itself.
Up till now many people think that smoking is not dangerous for health. This is more common belief in those who already smoke. We can find many people around us who smoke because it is considered socially acceptable in our culture. If the smoking is very common around us then we are more vulnerable to get its negative health consequences on us. This is the reason why it is prohibited to smoke in various public places. Thus the general public gets safe but the loved ones of smokers are consuming this waste smoke on daily basis. Particularly it effects children, family members of the smokers and those who live nearby. Even if smokers take cautions about where they lit up the cigars so their children in other room may not get affected but since this smoke travels through air it can reach to the other room in that house as well. When children inhale this smoke ridden air then it affects their internal biological system more than adults because they are in developing stage. How this smoke has adverse effects is discussed in detail here.