Smoky Situation

Hidden side effects of secondhand smoking

Illustration+by+Margaret+Debenport
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Smoky Situation

Illustration by Margaret Debenport

Illustration by Margaret Debenport

Illustration by Margaret Debenport

Illustration by Margaret Debenport

Story by Peyton Sims, culture editor

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You’re dragged to a party by your friends, music is blaring from speakers and careless high schoolers bounce around the room. People around you are smoking and vaping but you assume that if you don’t participate in doing these you won’t be affected. However, secondhand smoke can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than first-hand smoking.

A small amount of secondhand smoke can cause coronary heart disease, lung cancer and strokes. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections and suffer sudden infant death syndrome. For a person of any age, being around a smoker can end up being fatal.

“Dhasedyl is often inhaled by factory workers as a secondhand smoke,” doctor Matt Young said. “They weren’t smoking it or putting it directly into their lungs but now this chemical is found in the different flavors of vape juice. There’s an increase of addiction for those who directly use cigarettes, specifically e-cigarettes. We still don’t know the [consequences] of vaping because it’s only been out for a short time.”

Vaping is more dangerous for the bystander inhaling it rather than the person first hand vaping. The aerosol from e-cigarettes contains many harmful chemicals, including lead and other heavy metals. It also has flavorings including diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease. Nicotine can also be found in secondhand smoke along with thousands of other chemicals which can lead a person to getting addicted to nicotine.

Many smokers haven’t taken into consideration that they are not only harming their own health but the health of the people around them. Whenever people walk into a public place where people might be smoking, they can be exposed to numerous toxic chemicals. This is why multiple restaurants or businesses have no smoking signs posted for people to follow.

“For a majority of my life, I’ve had to deal with my grandma having lung cancer because she smoked and I’ve never taken into consideration how it could be affecting me. It consisted of multiple appointments and treatments and having to make sacrifices to help out with her, I’ve even had to miss my own birthday parties,” sophomore Mikayla Zverina said. “As a young child I didn’t know what was happening and all of this formed my view on smoking because I saw firsthand the struggles and hardships that came with smoking, especially when it affects a close family member.”

The addiction of smoking comes with many consequences that not only the first hand smoker should take into consideration. In the future, smoking will most likely still be relevant despite the factual evidence about the long term health hazards.

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