Smoking & Indoor Air Quality
Second-hand smoke is one of the worst culprits for poor indoor air quality. It has over 4,000 chemicals, including 50 that cause cancer. Two-thirds of the smoke from a burning cigarette that enters into the air can be inhaled by anyone in that area.
If you have babies, children or the elderly in your home, the poor air quality can effect them greatly. Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have a greater chance of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Children have a greater risk of getting lung infections and suffer more from chronic coughing, wheezing and breathing problems. Second-hand smoke can also cause fluid buildup in the inner ear which can cause ear infections.
Non-smokers will suffer the effects of second-hand smoke right away. In as little as eight minutes physical reactions can occur that are linked to heart disease and stroke. These reactions include increased heart rate, less oxygen to the heart and constricted blood vessels. More than 300 non-smokers die each year from lung cancer.
Smoking causes more than 45,000 deaths in Canada each year, or roughly one in five. It also causes a massive $6.5 billion in direct health care costs and $16.2 billion in total economic costs.
Make your home smoke-free. This is the best way to ensure you have good indoor air quality if you yourself are a smoker. Smoke from one cigarette can stay in a room for hours, even if you have a window open. Many of these chemicals hang in the air and attach to carpeting, curtains, furniture and clothing. Remember that air purifiers and ventilation systems may remove some of the smoke but not necessarily all of the chemicals.
Consider quitting smoking all together. There are lots of resources available to you to give support. Call toll-free 1-866-366-3667 or go online to find help in your area.