What Are The Effects Of Smoking On A Community?

Although it is generally accepted that smokers affect their communities negatively, the research into this area is somewhat limited in terms of the number of people who are aware of the real problems. Having a vague idea that smoking is bad is not enough to completely change attitudes. Members of the community need to be able to see the full details of the negativity that is associated with passive smoking. This is supposed to be a job for the anti smoking campaigners but they are not always good at it. In this article we consider some of the effects that you can expect if you continue to smoke around members of your community.

It has been discovered that passive smoking kills about 53,000 non-smokers every year. [1]This is a situation that is intolerable given the fact that people are being punished for things that they have not done. The ban on smoking in public places may not have achieved its full objective of ensuring that people understand the negative impact that they are having on other people’s health when they smoke cigarette. For example smoking can increase the intensity and frequency of the symptoms associated with asthma even if the patient is a non-smoker.

Detailing the silent crimes that smoking commits
Research has shown that passive smoking can increase the risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease by up to 25%. The individual threat of heart disease has been found to have been augmented by up to 60% in some cases. [1]It is associated with ischemic heart disease and some respiratory disorders. There have been studies to show that this practice can also lead to the ‘sudden death syndrome’ which can be pretty devastating to parents. Generally speaking, passive smoking can dampen the mental growth of children. Those children who are exposed to smoker are prone to chronic pneumonia, middle ear infections and bronchitis. In any case it can lead to sleep disturbance amongst pregnant women.

Women who are smokers increase their risk of developing breast cancer by up to 70% in the premenopausal phase of their lives. Second hand smoke has been associated with cognitive disorders and even dementia amongst patients who are over 50 years of age. Crohn’s Disease is yet another risk that you run when you light up even on a casual basis. The person that lives around smokers is likely to experience a reduced sense of smell. This can impact on their ability to enjoy a balanced diet. Parents need to watch out for the risks of developing meningococcal infections amongst children. A pregnant woman increases the risk of a miscarriage if she continues to smoke in defiance of all the medical research that is available to us at the moment. There have been cases where passive smoking has been blamed for exacerbating cystic fibrosis. [2]

A community approach to healthy living
All the issues that have been discussed above clearly point towards the dangers that are inherent when you make the decision to smoke. The community is not part of this decision but unfortunately they end up paying a huge price for your mistake. It is from that perspective that the smoking ban makes sense.

1. Extract,” Passive Smoking Statistics”, (22nd Feb 2009), SS, http://www.smokingstatistics.org/passive_smoking_statistics.asp
2. S. Jarvis,” Smoking and Others (Passive Smoking)”, (accessed 16th Feb 2012), Patient blog, http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Smoking-and-Others-(Passive-Smoking).htm

What do YOU Think?