Many people assume that it is fine to smoke in a car, especially if the windows are down. After all, most of the smoke drifts outside, right? Actually, smoking in a car can pose hazards to the driver and passengers long after the cigarette is put out. This is especially dangerous for young people, children, and pregnant women. Let's have a look at the effects of smoking in a car, as well as smoking in general, and why it is important to find alternatives like eCigarettes.
First Hand Smoking vs. Second Hand Smoking vs. Third Hand Smoking
As opposed to eCigarettes, regular cigarettes can give off first hand, second hand, and third hand smoke. First hand smoking refers to the smoke that is inhaled directly from a cigarette by a smoker. On the other hand, second hand smoke is smoke inhaled involuntarily by other people near a smoker. Even though these people are not actually smoking a cigarette, they can still suffer from associated health risks. Finally, third hand smoke refers to all the chemical traces left behind by cigarette smoke. Small spaces like cars are excellent examples of places where third hand smoke can occur in high degrees. Third hand smoke causes an unpleasant smell of stale smoke, and it also creates a lower quality of indoor air. It can accumulate on fabrics as well as other surfaces, skin and hair.
Regular cigarettes contain a high amount of toxic chemicals and the smoke inhaled affects our health in several different ways. Smokers can succumb to a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory ailments, such as heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and nose and throat irritations. Some examples of side effects of smoking include a lowered ability to smell and taste, lower levels of oxygen in the blood, ulcers, and heartburn. Finally, smoking also has several superficial effects, such as dry, wrinkled skin, and yellowing of the teeth and skin. In other words, smoking creates the effect of early aging. Second hand smoke is dangerous to others too, especially children and babies. It can cause dry, itchy eyes, as well as irritations in the nose, throat, and lungs. Worse still, second hand smoke can promote the risk of heart and lung disease in kids, and affect their growth. Third hand smoke poses its own set of dangers; it leaves traces of chemicals on surfaces where children and pets can easily pick them up. Over time, this can affect the nervous system as well as the brain tissue.
One way to think about smoking during a pregnancy is to look at it this way: would you ever allow a baby to smoke a cigarette? Simply imagining such an image makes us realize how delicate a baby's body and internal organs are. In truth, when a pregnant woman smokes, she transfers harmful chemicals to the fetus. Since the unborn baby is entirely dependent on the mother for its food and oxygen supply, it has no choice but to take in the chemicals it is fed. When pregnant women smoke, they can very likely produce a baby with a significantly low birth weight (thus leading to other health issues). Other common problems include lung or breathing issues for the baby, infection of the middle ear, stillbirth or sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking can also cause problems after the baby is born. Mothers can experience disruptions in the quality and quantity of the breast milk.
Everyone has their own reasons to stop smoking regular cigarettes. For some, it might be because they live with young children. For others, it is because they are concerned about their own health. Whatever the reasons, it is important to realize that finding healthier alternatives does indeed help the smoker and those around them in many different ways. It can be difficult at first, so it is advisable to form a transition plan in advance. Ask a friend or family member to help provide motivation and moral support. Another way might be to reward yourself. For example, calculate how much money might usually be spent daily on cigarettes versus a eCigarette package and collect that amount in a jar each day. At the end of the first week or month, use it to buy a special treat. There are plenty of excellent online resources that offer plans, tips, facts, how-to guides, and other helpful information.