June 23, 2009
Do you smoke? Do you know someone that does? Secondhand smoke has a bigger impact than just the smell. Find out the facts and how it impacts your risk for heart disease and cancer.
When you are near a person who is smoking, you are breathing secondhand smoke and inhaling the same dangerous chemicals as he or she does. It is a combination of smoke from the burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. When you breathe this secondhand smoke, it is like you are smoking. No matter your age or health status, secondhand smoke is dangerous: it can make you sick and some of the diseases that it causes can even kill you. The chemicals found in secondhand smoke hurt your health and many are known to cause cancer.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to breathe secondhand smoke in restaurants, around the doorways of buildings, and even sometimes at work. There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with heart or breathing problems should be especially careful. Some effects are temporary, but others are permanent.
For information on quitting tobacco usage, including information on smoking cessation and other specialized programs, log in to MyHumana and visit the Tobacco Cessation Condition Center.
Amy is a wellness strategy manager in Humana’s Health Guidance Organization. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville and a graduate degree in media communications and management from Webster University.