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Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco Smoke Did you know that most people are at the risk of dying from just breathing the air around them? Every day at least ninety-five percent of American people suffer from (E.T.S.) Environmental Tobacco Smoke, or more commonly known as second hand smoke. For those that are not familiar with what second hand smoke is let me explain it to you. Second hand smoke is a mixture of the smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke that comes from the burning ends of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. This smoke contains about 4,000 substances in which about fifty percent of these toxic substances can cause cancer and other bodily problems. Environmental Tobacco Smoke has been a problem for many years, but through intense research from many physicians, non-smokers are finally getting the respect they deserve.

Smokers now have to smoke outside of public places. While some non-smokers ignore the dangers involved with tobacco smoke others are struggling to live another day. Environmental Tobacco Smoke is made up of both a gas phase and a particulate phase. Together they include more than 4,000 substances. Automatic tobacco-puffing machines have been invented to collect and to study the smoke. In recent years studies have shown us the most hazardous of these chemicals. Tar is considered the deadliest of all the substances.

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Other chemicals found in tobacco smoke that are hazardous to us are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carboxyhemoglobin, and nicotine (Mendelson and Mello 33-35). During the burning process of tobacco the tip of the burning cone (the center of the pipe, cigarette, and or cigar) reaches a temperature of nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit during a puff. This tiny blast furnace results in a miniature chemical plant, which uses the hundreds of available materials to produce many more. In fact, some of the most important part of tobacco smoke (including tar and carbon monoxide) are not even present in an unburned phase of a tobacco product, but rather are produced when a puff is taken (Mendelson and Mello 37-38). Other studies have shown that indoor environmental tobacco smoke changes the tobacco substance in the gas phase.

As tobacco smoke is discharged into an indoor environment, diluted, re-circulated within and vented from the indoor environment, changes occur in both its chemical makeup phases. Making the gas phase substance more harmful than being in a outdoor environment (Ecobichon and Wu 3-4). Tobacco products produce two kinds of smoke, mainstream and sidestream. Mainstream smoke is the smoke that smokers inhale into their lungs. Sidestream smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by the smoker. The average smoker inhales ten two-second puffs of mainstream smoke from the tobacco product they are smoking.

As the cigarette, pipe, or cigar sits it releases waves of sidestream smoke into the air. According to some scientists, sidestream smoke is even more dangerous than mainstream smoke. In a recent article produced by the Iowa Medical Society it states that sidestream smoke contains five times the carbon monoxide, three times the tar and nicotine, and up to fifty times the number of carcinogens found in mainstream smoke. A study reported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences confirms that second-hand smoke contains up to fifty times more carcinogens (Ling et al. 92).

Carcinogens are described in the Webster’s dictionary as being a substance that produces a malignant tumor, or cancer in a living cell (Landoll et al. 71). In today’s society people are aware that tobacco smoke is unhealthy, but most choose not to become concerned with what this chemical does to their bodies. With the amount of smokers in today’s society, Environmental Tobacco Smoke has diluted are air with thousands of chemicals that causes severe damage to both our inner and exterior body components. Doctor Ameron of Atlanta Georgia writes that six out of ten non-smokers will end up with reduced lung functioning and or upper or lower respiratory problems.

According to Ameron, secondhand smoke is even more dangerous than mainstream smoke. He also states that breathing tobacco smoke can aggravate the condition of people with allergies or with lung, heart, or respiratory problems. Sufferers with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, for instance, are made extremely uncomfortable by severe air pollution. Yet the levels of carbon monoxide and other pollutants in smoke-filled rooms may be as high or higher than those that occur during air pollution emergencies (Berger 81-87). According to a Health Advocate Magazine, research from different physicians show that Environmental Tobacco Smoke can cause severe heart conditions, and assorted respiratory problems by being exposed to the smoke for a period of time. Even perfectly healthy people are affected by second-hand smoke.

Their heart rate, blood pressure, and the level of carbon monoxide in the blood increase when they breathe in air full of tobacco smoke. Also, even after nonsmokers leave a smoky room, it takes hours for the carbon monoxide to leave their bodies. Unlike oxygen, which is breathed in and then out again in minutes, carbon monoxide remains in the blood for long periods of time (Smith 27-29). Passive smoking, involuntary smoking, secondary smoking, second-hand smoking-all are terms that refer to nonsmokers who are forced to breathe in smoke from smokers in the same room. The Surgeon General’s reports stressed the health effects of second-hand smoke, which can be as serious, or even more serious than the effects of direct smoking (Cain 189-195) The amount of smoke taken in by non-smokers should be considered. Major research projects conducted in the United States, Japan, and Greece found that nonsmoking wives of smoking husbands each day inhaled cigarette smoke equivalent to smoking six tobacco products by themselves. Another researcher placed twenty-one smokers and twenty-eight nonsmokers in a room.

The smokers lit a cigarette every fifteen minutes for an hour and a half. The figures showed that, if extended to eight hours, the nonsmokers would have had as much smoke in their lungs as from smoking five cigarettes (Hammond 212-215). The American Cancer Society in 1996 developed a scientific research that shows the cause and number of deaths to nonsmokers in one year for twenty-five different states. The calculations yield an estimated United States annual total of 3,000 lung cancer deaths, 11,000 deaths from other cancers, and 32,000 deaths from heart disease, giving a combined total of 46,000 deaths. Other research from the American Cancer Society estimate that a total of sixty-one percent of male nonsmokers and seventy-six of female nonsmokers were exposed to Environmental Tobacco smoke. Among these percentages the overall exposure fract …


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