Have you been considering quitting smoking for some time now, but still have not taken any steps? To increase your odds of succeeding, it is important for you to identify what deeply motivates you to quit and be well prepared.
Your motives for quitting can be related to your health, your appearance (yellow fingers and teeth) or your finances. But what if we threw into the mix the health of your loved ones as well? Perhaps after finishing this article, you will finally have the reason you need to put your plan into action!
What is second-hand smoke?
Second-hand smoke comes from:
- smoke that escapes directly into the air from the end of a cigarette (cigar, pipe and even a cigarillo);
- and smoke exhaled into the air by smokers.
Given the presence of second-hand smoke in the air, it is no exaggeration to say that when one family member smokes, the entire family smokes, too!
What makes up second-hand smoke?
Both first- and second-hand smoke contain no fewer than 7,300 chemical components! At least 60 of those can cause cancer. Among them, you’ll find tar and nicotine, as well as:
- Hydrogen cyanide
The effects on human health
We now know that second-hand smoke is detrimental to the health of both smokers and those who live with them.
For example, smoke irritates the eyes, nose and throat. It can also:
- cause headaches, dizziness and nausea;
- aggravate the symptoms of respiratory diseases and cause them to progress more rapidly;
- increase the risk of contracting infections of the upper airways;
- raise the risk of developing heart disease, lung disease and respiratory disorders.
That’s not all! Repeated exposure to second-hand smoke is listed as the second leading cause of lung cancer. The first is, of course, smoking.
What you need to know
Because they breathe more rapidly and inhale more air than adults in proportion to body weight, children absorb a larger quantity of the chemicals found in second-hand smoke.
A child who is exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis will be more likely to present:
- Respiratory problems
- Learning disabilities
- Ear infections and colds
A pregnant women and her unborn child are also at risk. In fact, second-hand smoke reduces blood flow to the baby during pregnancy, which can:
- affect the development of the baby’s heart, lungs, nervous system and digestive system;
- hinder the growth of the baby;
- contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature labour or complications during childbirth;
- increase the risk of low birth weight or death of the newborn.
It is false to believe that:
- smoking in another room;
- opening a window or turning on a hood or fan;
- using an air purifier;
- smoking in the house or car when no one is around…
can protect your loved ones from second-hand smoke! The chemicals it contains almost always makes it way to the lungs of the people we live with.
Are you convinced? Have you decided to butt out? Feel free to talk to your family pharmacists. They can help you create a personalized strategy that will enable you to reach your goal.
They can also prescribe* can prescribe medications for certain minor health problems, including NRTs for smoking cessation, when no diagnosis is needed.
A consultation will be required to make sure you meet the prescribing criteria. To avail yourself of this service, you may need to book an appointment with your pharmacist. Ask a member of the pharmacy team for more details. Some Uniprix-affiliated pharmacies also offer an online appointment booking service. To locate the store nearest you providing this service, click here.