The harmful effects of cigarette smoke in the environment affect smokers as well as non-smokers. It is essential to implement solutions to improve the health and well-being of those who are exposed to tobacco smoke.
Studies show that exposure to indoor tobacco smoke has irremediable health effects such as a 30% increased chance of having heart disease or developing chronic lung disease. Other common effects include coughing, wheezing, asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia, among other consequences. Unfortunately, science has also evidenced that cigarette smoke not only harms the health of those who smoke, but also the health of those around them. What is even more worrying is that it has been shown that smoke inhaled by non-smokers is considered more harmful because it contains higher concentrations of toxic particles. This shows that non-smokers can develop cancer from being exposed to it.
In addition, studies have suggested that tobacco particles remain in the environment for several months and settle on dust and surfaces such as fabrics. It is revealing to understand that although smoke dissolves, it still has unhealthy effects. According to the National Cancer Institute (NIH), the level of tobacco smoke in the environment is measured by the number of particles with chemical contents such as nicotine and other negative health chemicals. In the case of e-cigarettes, as they are cartridges for vaporizing nicotine, what is exhaled is not smoke but aerosol. In this sense, aerosols contain harmful substances such as nicotine, metals (lead), volatile organic compounds and other substances that also cause cancer.
Overall, few places allow smoking indoors. This is explained by the fact that, over time, awareness of the serious problems posed by exposure to tobacco has increased. Fortunately, there are multiple global campaigns that raise awareness about not smoking, and younger generations are also becoming more aware by adopting healthier habits. At the same time, it has been a breakthrough that many governments have enacted laws banning smoking in enclosed places, which has substantially reduced exposure to tobacco smoke and, better still, has boosted many people to stop smoking.
Measures to be taken
Some recommendations for avoiding exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke are:
– Do not smoke indoors,
– Teaching children to avoid places where smoking is allowed,
– Being in smoke-free environments,
– Not smoking in cars,
– Choosing smoke-free restaurants, bars, and other leisure places.
As a major premise, the American Cancer Society has stated that the only way to fully protect non-smokers from exposure to tobacco indoors is to ban smoking indoors.
It is necessary to ensure good air quality in crowded places. The same applies to offices, commercial establishments, hotels, clinics, educational establishments, factories and even homes. To achieve that, several measures are recommended to guarantee clean air: ventilating rooms, cleaning ashtrays, cleaning furniture, and removing smells with coffee grains or incense burners. However, the most effective proven alternative to reduce tobacco smoke pollution is using air purifiers with HEPA filter technology.
HEPA air purifiers benefits
HEPA air purifiers clean environments in a way that ensures a healthy and pleasant indoor space. This is possible as the filters remove pollutants such as tobacco smoke, allergens, dust, bacteria, and viruses.
HEPA, by its acronym means, High Efficiency Particle Air and are considered highly effective as they filter up to 99.97% of airborne particles. These devices are equipped with a 4-6-stage filtration system that removes particles down to 0.3 microns. Establishments that bring air purifiers into their businesses, add great value in weighing employee health and wellness.