Most people think that smoking is dangerous only to users but emission from cigarettes is more dangerous to bystanders. Why? Unlike the smoke inhaled by active users, secondhand smoke is not filtered.
Passive smoking – also known as second-hand smoking – is the inhalation of smoke by individuals other than the active user.
Studies show that the effects of secondhand smoke are deadlier than smoking itself. Repeated exposure to cigarette smoke can cause disability, chronic diseases, and even death. These risks are the reason why smoke-free laws are being amended to add sanctions to people who are exposing the public to secondhand smoke. Unfortunately, there are millions of smokers everywhere and it’s hard to avoid passive smoking completely. In today’s post, we are listing down ways to avoid secondhand smoke and prevent passive smoking in any environment:
Avoiding Passive Smoking in the Home
To prevent passive smoking in the home, post a “No Smoking” sign on the front door. This way, visitors will know in advance that your home is a smoke-free zone. If a guest lights up inside the home, politely request that they smoke outside.
Remove all ashtrays in the home to discourage guests from smoking inside. Don’t be afraid to say no to smoking if the guests asked if they can light up.
If your caregiver or babysitter smokes, let him or her know explicitly that smoking is not allowed inside the home. Smoking is also not allowed when the kids are nearby. If the sitter needs to smoke, he or she has to do it outside and away from the kids. Also, do know that secondhand smoke clings to skin and clothing. The toxins can be released back into the air when the smoker returns indoors. For the sake of the kids, instruct the sitter or caregiver that he can only smoke outside after working hours.
For Loved Ones
Teach your kids to speak up and ask others to not smoke around them. Instruct the kids to let you know if the sitter or caregiver is smoking inside the house.
If a loved one smokes, be gentle but firm in requesting that s/he smoke outside, even in the night. If a loved one decided to quit smoking, give him or her all the support needed to make it through the ordeal.
Avoiding Passive Smoking in Public Places
Go for 100% Smoke-Free Establishments
Although you can always politely ask smokers to stop smoking when they are near you, don’t put yourself in a situation wherein you are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke. Always choose 100% smoke-free establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, bars and even tours.
If a smoker lights up inside the premises, politely ask the smoker to not smoke near you. Usually, smokers who are asked politely to stop lighting up will do so. In the rare case wherein you encounter hostility, do not respond with hostility. You can file a complaint to the management or campaign for policies that would ban smoking in public places and businesses.
You can send a handwritten letter to public officials to encourage them to rally for nonsmokers’ rights and smoke-free air. You can also send a letter to editors of local newspapers to spread awareness of the movement. Support organizations in your area that work to protect the rights of nonsmokers.