Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 15, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says second hand cigarette smoking is hazardous to everyone’s health that can smell the nasty stinking carcinogenic smoke in Kentucky.

X-ray of right lung with cancer

X-ray of right lung with cancer

Smoking is the single greatest avoidable cause of disease and death. As we previously reported, Kentucky leads the nation in smoking cigarettes. In addition to the harm done to smokers, second hand smoke is also deadly.

All of which  means long-term health adverse problems for everyone smelling that nasty stinky shit in the air!  So, the next time you come home smelling of stinky cigarette smoke hanging in the air, think about the following:

Secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization.

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds. More than 60 of these are known or suspected to cause cancer.

When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more secondhand smoke you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body. That is scary for folks working as a bartender, waitress, bingo hall or in a bowling alley.

So, the next time you are in a room with a smoker or standing next to a smoker, remember that the Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that:

1. Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces.

Supporting Evidence
o Levels of a chemical called cotinine, a biomarker of secondhand smoke exposure, fell by 70 percent from 1988-91 to 2001-02. In national surveys, however, 43 percent of U.S. nonsmokers still have detectable levels of cotinine.
o Almost 60 percent of U.S. children aged 3-11 years—or almost 22 million children—are exposed to secondhand smoke.
o Approximately 30 percent of indoor workers in the United States are not covered by smoke-free workplace policies.

2. Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.

Supporting Evidence
o Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide.
o Secondhand smoke has been designated as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that secondhand smoke is an occupational carcinogen.

3. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.

Supporting Evidence
o Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.
o Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.
o Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than unexposed babies, which increases the risk for many health problems.
o Among infants and children, secondhand smoke cause bronchitis and pneumonia, and increases the risk of ear infections.
o Secondhand smoke exposure can cause children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.

4. Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

Supporting Evidence
o Concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers.
o Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of a heart attack.
o Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 – 30 percent.
o Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 – 30 percent.

5. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Supporting Evidence
o Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack.
o Secondhand smoke contains many chemicals that can quickly irritate and damage the lining of the airways. Even brief exposure can result in upper airway changes in healthy persons and can lead to more frequent and more asthma attacks in children who already have asthma.

6. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces does not protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.

Supporting Evidence
o Conventional air cleaning systems can remove large particles, but not the smaller particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke.
o Routine operation of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system can distribute secondhand smoke throughout a building.
o The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the preeminent U.S. body on ventilation issues, has concluded that ventilation technology cannot be relied on to control health risks from secondhand smoke exposure.

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Responses

  1. This comes as no surprise to me, cig smoke makes no sense at all, but lots of $$ for Big Tobacco. It’s really not about the Tobacco or Nicotine though it’s the various poisonous chemicals added like cyanide, formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia.

    Just think about it if you were to stand in public spraying an aerosol can containing those ingredients on people, you might be considered a terrorist and locked up, but not smokers; they are just looked at as the rest of us, no big deal, it’s just second-hand smoke right? Wrong it’s poisonous and it’s deadly!


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