Time To Stop Being A Passive Victim This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Every day millions of people light up cigarettes exposing themselves and others to nicotine, a potent and potentially lethal poison. But I want to inform you how deadly passive smoke is.

Passive smoke is a common indoor air pollutant consisting of a mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and smoke exhaled from smokers. It contains the same toxic substances found in mainstream smoke. It is classified as a "group A" carcinogen which means there is substantial evidence that it can cause cancer in humans. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 3,000 healthy non-smokers will die this year from lung cancer caused from the exposure to second-hand smoke.

The most shocking information to date is the effect second-hand smoke has on children. Each year it causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis). Passive smoke increases the number of asthma attacks in 20% of this country's two to five million asthmatic children. Mothers who smoke 10 cigarettes a day actually have caused 8,000 to 26,000 new cases of asthma among their children.

I hope some of these facts will teach people that second-hand smoke is not only annoying and poisonous but deadly. Smoking does not only kill those lighting up, but also the people around them.

Everyone is aware of how addictive nicotine is. Many people are affected whether it is a healthy non-smoker or young children: everyone feels the effect from your habit.

The next time you light up, think of the people around you, not your habit. As the Massachusetts Department of Public Heath says: "Tobacco is the only consumer product that when used as directed causes death." ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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