>> Jul 24, 2012
Whether it be cancer, heart and lung conditions, or just being the owner of an unpleasant, lingering, stale smell, the impact smoking has on us as individuals is well known.
When considering the wider effects of smoking, particularly on those around us, “passive smoking” is the term that is most used. While passive smoking is clearly a huge consequence of smoking and a massive health risk, it is not simply through passive smoking itself where the risks come from.
By looking deeper at smoking habits and how the influence on the whole family in the long term, it is much easier to build a clearer picture in relation to the impacts it has.
Beyond Passive Smoking
Passive smoking kills. This is always associated with what I would term “direct” passive smoking, however. By that, I mean what you inhale when you sit next to a smoker while having a cigarette. In reality, the impacts of passive smoking are far wider reaching.
As has been publicised in recent anti-smoking campaigns, cigarette smoke lingers everywhere. It impacts the quality of the air, as well as lingering on fabrics on furniture and carpets. People often justify smoking and get around this by having a cigarette outside. While this will reduce smoke exposure, the smoke that clings to clothing is still enough to significantly reduce the air quality inside the home.
Children of smokers have been shown by numerous studies and reports to be far more likely to suffer from minor illnesses when growing up, as well as struggling with fitness and learning development as they begin to get older.
Smoking can negatively affect a family socially in many ways. At its most basic point, smoking is considered an anti-social activity, in that wanting a cigarette often involves leaving your group to go and smoke elsewhere. A usual response to this from smokers is that the family members could go with them, but why should they expose themselves to harmful chemicals?
Tensions can also be raised among families where one or more individuals smokes, particularly in relation to the vast sums of money that are spent in satisfying a nicotine habit. While such disputes are often settled amicably, in cases where individuals feel strongly about another’s smoking they can often lead to quite serious disagreements and arguments.
Social issues, both inside the family as well as with other peer groups, are often fed by the inability or refusal of the smoker to understand the impact their actions have on the group as a whole.
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