When you smoke, it affects those around you, even after you’ve put out your cigarette.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 69 chemicals come off of a burning cigarette. This is called sidestream smoke. Sidestream smoke is the smoke from the lit end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar. Sidestream smoke has a higher concentration of cancer causing agents and is more toxic.
Sidestream (or Second-Hand) Smoke
Sidestream smoke is what you’re inhaling when you’re around someone who smokes. It’s referred to as second-hand smoke and it can be just as dangerous for the nonsmoker. Second-hand smoke can cause cancer, such as lung cancer, and it may be linked to other diseases like heart disease, lymphoma, leukemia, brain tumors, asthma and respiratory diseases.
The danger of smoking doesn’t stop there. Third-hand smoke isn’t talked about as often but is more prevalent in our physical environment. Third-hand smoke is the nicotine and other chemicals that can be left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. These chemicals mix with other toxic household pollutants and can cause cancer.
Third-hand smoke clings to hair, skin, clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, vehicles and other surfaces. When you touch these surfaces, you’re also coming into contact with the hazardous residue left behind from smoking.
Quit Smoking Support
If you’re a smoker, your smoking doesn’t just affect you. Consider quitting for you and for those you love. Here are resources to help:
- Primary Care Provider – The best way to overcome the physical and psychological addiction to nicotine that makes it difficult for smokers to quit is to talk to your primary care provider. Many resources and programs are available to help improve your chances of quitting successfully.
- Smoking Cessation Classes & Support Groups – Classes and support groups are available to give you the tools you need to successfully quit and becoming totally tobacco free.
- Wisconsin Quit Line – A free resources, the 24/7 Quit Line is sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.