How can secondhand smoke affect us?
Being close to secondhand smoke, even for a short time can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. It can also cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, coughing and wheezing. Secondhand smoke can make allergy or asthma symptoms worse. If you are near secondhand smoke over a long time there is a risk of heart disease and cancer. When breathing in secondhand smoke, it makes it harder for your body to take in and use oxygen. Depending on how much secondhand smoke is in the air, it can be like you are smoking 1 to 10 cigarettes a day.
How can secondhand smoke affect pregnant women and the fetus?
For a pregnant women, what she eats, drinks and breathes passes to the growing fetus through an organ called the placenta. If she breathes in secondhand smoke, it is passed to the fetus. The carbon monoxide found in secondhand smoke, can raise the heart rate and lower the oxygen the fetus receives.
You can use this information to remind yourself why quitting or reducing smoking is good for you and your family, or if you're a family member or friend, you can help the person in your life understand how their smoking impacts you.