Most people are aware of the health risks from smoking, but the dangers of second-hand smoke are less well known.
Second-hand smoke is very dangerous. It harms both the person smoking and the people around them.
A US Department of Health study has found that breathing in second hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer by 24% and the risk of heart disease by 25% 1.
There are also strong links between second-hand smoke and respiratory diseases in children.
You might think that blowing or waving cigarette smoke away from the people around you lessens the risk. You’d be wrong. Most second-hand smoke is invisible and has no smell. Even a cigarette left alight in an ashtray generates second-hand smoke. It can hang around for over two hours after you put out your cigarette, even in a well-ventilated room.
The best way to protect yourself and those closest to you from second hand smoke is to be completely smoke free.
When you are quitting, it is best to avoid environments where second-hand smoke might be present.
Stay away from outdoor areas in pubs and restaurants where a lot of people are smoking.
Politely ask others not to smoke inside your car, or any car in which you are a passenger.
Keep your home smoke-free.
If others are smoking around you, ask them to move away or stop.