- 10% of tobacco-related deaths are
caused by passive smoking or second-hand smoking
smoke has no known safe level of exposure
smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and of these,
69 are known to cause cancer
- India is home to 12% of the
- Since 2009, approximately 900,000 people
die every year in India due to smoking
2016 happens to be 'No Smoking Day.' It is a lesser known day
as the focus during this month of March is more towards the World Women's Day
and World Kidney Day. However, passive smoking or second-hand smoking is an
issue that concerns us all.
is harmful to health and even though the populace is aware about the hazardous
effects of smoking, there is a dire need for awareness about passive smoking.
It is estimated that 10% of tobacco-related deaths are caused by passive
smoking. It causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including
coronary heart disease and lung cancer
In infants, passive smoking can lead to sudden death while
in pregnant women, it causes low birth weight
. Over 40% of children have at least one smoking
parent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children accounted
for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
‘The risk of lung cancer in non-smokers exposed to passive smoking is 30% and the risk of heart disease is 23%.’
is defined as involuntary inhaling of smoke from other people's cigarettes,
cigars, or pipes. Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of
passive smoking than adults and it makes them prone to asthma
, bronchitis and pneumonia
. Research has shown that the smoke that
emanates from the end of a cigarette (called sidestream smoke) may be more
toxic than the mainstream smoke that a smoker inhales.
Dr. PM Bhujang,
President, Association of Hospital said, "India is home to 12% of the world's
smokers. Since 2009, approximately 900,000 people die every year in India due
to smoking. As of 2015, the number of men smoking tobacco globally rose to 108
million, an increase of 36% between 1998 and 2015. With the number of active
smokers increasing day by day, the threat of passive smoking is also rapidly
increasing. Indians need to wake up to the risk of cardiovascular
which have a devastating
impact on the health, growth and development of the country."
commenting Dr. PM Bhujang said, "Other than passive smoking, increasing smoke
in the air is also affecting the health of the people drastically. To control
this inhalation of polluted air, one should avoid smoking zones; try to avoid
breathing near factories producing harmful gasses. A person should be aware
about the environment where he breaths the air and should take appropriate
measure to control the same."
How to Reduce
the Risk of Passive Smoking?
If exposure to
second-hand smoke cannot be prevented, there are some precautions that can
protect the health of the people who are exposed and the suggestions include:
of Passive Smoking on Pregnant Women and Unborn Babies
- Request those who smoke in your
house to smoke their cigarettes outdoors
- No smoking should
be allowed in cars even with the windows open
- Make sure
children are moved away from any site where there are
- Visit restaurants that enforce no-smoking policies
your loved ones to quit smoking
can seriously impair the health of the unborn fetus. In some countries, almost 10% of women who
are pregnant smoke
and in many
situations, mothers are exposed to partners who smoke.
If a mother is exposed to second-hand smoke, she is
more likely to give birth to a premature baby
of lower birth weight. Dangers to mother and fetus include:
Smoking in Public Places
Many countries ban people from smoking in public places
and impose fines. Most governments impose high excise
duties on tobacco. In India, smoking in public places was banned from October 2nd
2008 under the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules,
and The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products 2003 (COTPA). The ban was
notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Smoking is restricted to
open spaces visited by the public such as hospitals, auditoriums, cinemas,
public transports and their related facilities, restaurants, hotels, amusement
centers, offices, libraries, courts, shopping malls, and educational
institutions. However, public places do not include roads, parking spaces, open
market places and parks. The law imposes a fine of Rs.200 for a person caught
smoking in public places.
permitted in airports, restaurants, bars, pubs, and some enclosed public
workplaces if separate smoking areas are provided. The law also prohibits the
sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions. In 2007,
Chandigarh became the first smoke-free city in India. The Cable Television
Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill banned direct and indirect advertisements
of all tobacco products on 8 September 2000. Rules mandating pictorial health warnings on all tobacco products
came in to force on May 31st
minimum age for buying tobacco products is 18 years.
Union Health Minister, JP Nadda proposed COPTA Bill 2015, to raise the age of a
person buying tobacco products to 21 years. Nadda also proposed to raise the
fine for smoking in public places to Rs 1,000 from Rs 200.
The Global Youth
Tobacco Survey conducted in 2009 showed that 14.6% of students aged 13 to 15
years are using tobacco in India. The survey also found that 11% of boys were
users of smoking and smokeless tobacco. While 6% girls used smokeless tobacco
and 3.7% smoked tobacco. It is estimated that tobacco will be the main cause of
13% of deaths in India by 2020.
The COTPA Bill,
2015, states that the sale of loose tobacco products makes minors susceptible
to tobacco use and promotes tobacco sale. Therefore, the
prohibition of the sale of tobacco products loose and in single sticks is
health consequences of passive smoking are high due to the large numbers of
people exposed. Quitting
is the route to better health
and it's also good for others as well.