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Is being exposed to secondhand smoke bad for you?

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Yes. Being around tobacco smoke is bad for you, even if it's someone else's smoke. When someone smokes a cigarette, most of the smoke doesn't go into their lungs. It goes into the air, where anyone nearby can breathe it.

Exposure to secondhand smoke raises your risk -- by as much as 30 percent -- of getting lung cancer and many other types of cancer. It can lead to emphysema, and it's bad for your heart.

Smoke makes your blood stickier, raises your "bad" LDL cholesterol, and damages the lining of your blood vessels. Eventually, these changes can make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

From: The Effects of Secondhand Smoke WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Secondhand Smoke."

Office of the Surgeon General: "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General," June 27, 2006.

National Cancer Institute: "Secondhand Smoke: Questions and Answers."

CDC: "Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You." 

CDC: "Trends in Secondhand Smoke Exposure."

He Y. , 2008. Circulation

American Heart Association: "Toddlers affected most by secondhand exposure at home."

American Lung Association: "Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet."

American Heart Association: "Smoking: Do You Really Know the Risks?"

CDC: "Cigarette Smoking in the United States."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 14, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Secondhand Smoke."

Office of the Surgeon General: "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General," June 27, 2006.

National Cancer Institute: "Secondhand Smoke: Questions and Answers."

CDC: "Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You." 

CDC: "Trends in Secondhand Smoke Exposure."

He Y. , 2008. Circulation

American Heart Association: "Toddlers affected most by secondhand exposure at home."

American Lung Association: "Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet."

American Heart Association: "Smoking: Do You Really Know the Risks?"

CDC: "Cigarette Smoking in the United States."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 14, 2017

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What are the dangers of secondhand smoke for children?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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