Secondhand smoke comes from both the smoke that smoker’s exhale (called mainstream smoke) and the smoke floating from the end of the cigarette, cigar, or pipe (called side stream smoke).

Side stream smoke (smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar) and mainstream smoke (smoke that is exhaled by a smoker). Even though we think of these as the same, they aren't. The side stream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than the mainstream smoke because the chemicals are burning at a lower temperature. And, it contains smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which make their way into the body's cells more easily

Impact on Children!

  • More frequent and severe asthma attacks

  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath)
  • A greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

The "Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behavior" attributes nicotine's ability to lower anxiety to changes in brain signaling that depends on the neurotransmitter serotonin. Nicotine's pain-relieving effects may be related to physiological mechanisms that are similar to the effects of opioids such as morphine and heroin.


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