How does my smoking affect others?
Cigarette smoke is harmful to everyone who breathes it in, from your friends and family to children and pets.
Secondhand smoke refers to the smoke from the end of your cigarette and the smoke exhaled from your lungs that hangs around in the air. When the people around you breathe in this smoke, it's called passive smoking.
Secondhand smoke is a cause of early death and disease in children and non-smoking adults; there is no safe level of exposure.
Effects of passive smoking
Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause coronary heart disease and lung cancer in non-smokers, and increase the risk of:
- Respiratory diseases (such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia);
- heart attacks;
- developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus;
- infections; and
- plaque build-up in arteries (which can cause strokes and dementia).
Non-smokers can also experience eye, nasal and throat irritation, the presence of a cough, wheezing and shortness of breath.