About 40 percent of Indian adults are exposed to second hand tobacco smoke at home. People who do not smoke themselves are vulnerable to various diseases because someone smokes at home, according to a latest assessment by the World Health Organization that highlights risk of second hand smoking and the need to warn people who smoke.
30 percent adults in India are exposed to second hand tobacco smoke at work. Second hand smoking is as harmful as tobacco smoking. Designated smoking rooms in offices and restaurants not only create intense smoking environment but are also often attached to smoke free spaces, say experts.
Dr Krishan said "It can damage lungs as second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are irritants and toxins and some of which are known to cause cancer,".
Harmful Effects of Secondhand Smoke: Second hand smoke is harmful for children and can increase a non-smoker's risk of getting lung cancer. Second hand smoke may cause fibrosis. Globally, second hand smoke is killing over six lakh people annually. In South East Asia region 46 percent of adults are exposed to second hand smoke at home.
India and other countries need to strengthen their tobacco control policies, said Dr Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, director at WHO's Department of Non-communicable Diseases and Environmental Health.
"Government policies and programs must focus on informing masses about the ill-effects of tobacco use and effective measures like pictorial health warnings on tobacco products must depict heart disease and stroke as real dangers of tobacco use," said Dr Reddy.