If you don’t do it for yourself – do it for others

30.5.2019 Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day again …

and smokers can find out how dangerous smoking is, especially for the lungs, but not only. Various stop-smoking programmes will also be presented. Perhaps this will persuade some people to start quitting smoking. However, there is usually no big shock, as smokers today are theoretically well aware of how much harm they are doing to themselves. Nevertheless, they usually only think about quitting when their health is already noticeably affected.

Few smokers waste a thought on the fact that tobacco smoke also makes people around them ill and risks their premature death. If they really realised this, they would finally take requests or protests from their family, neighbours and work colleagues seriously.

Everyone knows that tobacco smoke is toxic. Tobacco smoke is not completely inhaled by smokers, that should also be known. But how much of it is not inhaled or exhaled again? Quiz question:

How much tobacco smoke remains in the smoker’s body when smoking?

a) 100 %

b) 75 %

c) 50 %

d) 25 %

Would you have known? The answer is given by the lung doctors on the net, for example. The sad fact is that non-smokers are the real smokers. They get three quarters (!) of the smoke that smokers exhale or that is produced when a cigarette smoulders. This so-called sidestream smoke, which is not inhaled at all, can contain carcinogenic substances in up to 100 times the concentration of exhaled smoke.

Isn’t that perverse? Smokers receive only a fraction of the poison that they voluntarily ingest, while non-smokers receive the majority against their will.

But it is not only those who stand near a smoker who are poisoned: The cold smoke settles on the skin, hands, hair and clothing of smokers, as well as on the floor, walls, furniture and all other objects. It then retains its harmful effects as soon as it is inhaled or touched. “US scientists found residues not only in non-smoking hotels and cars, but also in a smoke-free intensive care unit for newborns: staff or parents had brought them in”, as can be read in baden online. The pollutants only break down after months or years.

The health of small children and adolescents, whose respiratory organs and immune systems are not yet fully developed, is particularly vulnerable. Another danger for them is the masses of butts lying around. The little ones like to put everything in their mouths (this also applies to liquids from e-cigarettes.) Ultimately, however, cigarette butt waste affects us all, as the toxins that we absorb through water and food accumulate in our bodies.

All smokers should know that they are not only risking their own health with their addiction, but also the health of all people in many ways. In addition, there is serious damage caused by tobacco cultivation (child labour, green tobacco disease, destruction of forests …) and trade (smuggling, black market crime …) and consumption (traffic accidents, fires and physical violence).

There’s only one thing to do: stop. Even today. If not for yourself, then for everyone else.