LAST week, I wrote about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. I informed you that cigarette smoke contains about 3,000 chemicals most of whom are harmful to your health. And the more cigarettes you smoke, the more damage you expose yourself to.
I told you also cigarette smoking may lead to heart attack, stroked and sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, I educated you on the fact that the habit equally exposes you to cancer of the lungs, bladder and pancreas.
The bottom line is simply this. Anyone who smoke cannot enjoy optimum health even when he eats well, exercises regularly and takes food supplements. By your lifestyle, you only postpone the evil day. You can never abort it.
Women are no better off if they smoke since cigarette smoking knows no gender discrimination in allocating health hazards. In passing, let me say also that women who smoke during pregnancy have a high risk of having low-weight babies with poor chances of survival.
When my article was published last week, someone called me up. He asked me whether non-smokers are liable to smoker’s health risks if they both share the same apartment. His question threw up the issue of mainstream smokers and sidestreams or secondary smokers. I now want to address.
If you light a stick of cigarette, put it in between your lips, inhale and then exhale the smoke, you are a mainstream smoker. Afterall, you have directly inhaled the smoke. When you don’t take in the smoke from a cigarette but only inhale the floating smoke given out by the cigarette and the smoker’s lungs, then you are a sidestream smoker. As long as you are sitting or standing near a mainstream smoker, you are participating in smoking his cigarette with him even though you don’t smoke cigarette.
In other words smoking unlike drinking, is a very fast way of spreading health hazards that is not recognized by most people. For instance, last December I was at an eatery with a friend. No sooner had we sat down than we saw a man smoking a cigarette. Do you know what we did? We left the eatery, immediately. Two of us don’t smoke. Given this, why should we indirectly  “smoke” the man’s cigarette with him. Indeed, some public places are no more safe for non-smokers who treasure their health.
Neither are some homes safer. Such homes have male spouses who smoke, indoors. Because of this abberant lifestyle, several family members are at risk. For instance, a nursing mother and a baby in such a home are at great risks of ill-health. When she is pregnant or not, she is also exposed to danger with her children if her husband smokes.
How about elders and sick persons in such a home? Of course, their health is further compromised when there is a cigarette smoker in the home. Take or leave it, anyone who smokes is a health time bomb!! He is not only actively contributing to his own death, he is equally increasing the morbidity/mortality risk of innocent passive smokers around him.
Specifically cigarette smoke affects the eyes of mainstream and sidestream, passive smokers alike. To start with, the smoke can cause eye irritation, breathing difficulties, nausea and headache to both categories of smokers.
Secondly, AWAKE MAGAZINE of December 22, 1994 reported the finding of Prof. Robert Augusteyn, a director of Natural Vision Research Institute, Australia! About cigarette smoking and eye health. Listen to the magazine: “Smokers are 2-3 times more likely to have cataract. Chemicals from the smoke is first absorbed by the body. Later, the chemicals move to the eyes and destroy the pump that drains excess salt and water from the lens. Following this the cells in the lens swell and burst, cataract results.
Put simply, active/mainstream cigarette smokers “distribute” cataract to sidestream, passive smokers. Moreover, studies have discovered that if you inhale sidestream smoke from a cigarette smoker, most especially in an enclosed or a poorly – ventilated environment, your chances of having lung cancer is 3-5 times greater than that of someone living in a smoke-free one.
Today, the health risk of the sidestream and mainstream smoker are higher. Why? Nicotine delivered in cigarette, has been increased contrary to stipulated standards by the World Health Organization. In the jungle race by manufacturers to keen their consumers. Massachussets Department of Public Health, USA found this out using a new, very sensitive technology for measuring nicotine contents in cigarettes. Quoting the research finding The Punch Newspaper of September 4, 2006 reported: “The amount of nicotine contained in a cigarette and that which is actually delivered to the smoker’s lungs have increased significantly over the past six years. About 93 percent of the 117 brands of cigarette with the nicotine yield per cigarette rising from 1.72 to 1.89 milligrams.
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that smokers and non-smokers are both exposed to the higher risk of increased levels of nicotine hidden in moderm cigarettes by mercantilist manufacturers. This isn’t all. Non-smokers or sidestream smokers also inhale half of all the smoke; two thirds of the harmful across particles; as well as nitrosamine, a potent carcinogen, from cigarettes.  Consequently, it becomes obvious that sidestream smoke exposure is a deadly hazard to anyone sharing physical space with an active smoker.
On a final note, sidestream smoke contains carbon monoxide. This harmful gas doesn’t cause cancer. However, the gas has affinity for haemoglobin which it binds with to form caboxylhaemoglobin. The result is that the body is deprived of the life elixir, oxygen. Therefore, if you don’t smoke, stay away from smokers.