Passive smoking as an environmental health risk factor
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Chair and Department of Paedodontics, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Clinical Psychology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Dental Prostetics, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(3):547–550
Initially, tobacco was considered as a decorative plant and only later began to be treated as a herb with special therapeutic properties. With time, it was found that tobacco had strong insecticidal and addictive properties. There also occurred reports about the negative influence of tobacco on human health. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies smoking as a chronic, progressive disease which is also ‘contagious’. It is also considered to be a neurobiotic addiction. Nicotine addiction does not cause changes in the behaviour or functioning of a smoker; however, it adversely affects his or her general health status and the health status of people within their environment. Passive smoking (so-called ETS – Environmental Tobacco Smoke), which means accompanying smokers negatively influences the health of passive smokers. Environmental tobacco smoke, on the one hand, is the result of spontaneous cigarette burning and, on the other hand, the result of the side-stream of cigarette smoke, as well as the smoke exhaled by active smokers. Health personnel should clearly and convincingly present the data concerning the adverse results of smoking, as well as the dangers of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, thereby making their patients aware that breaking their addiction will not only be beneficial for their own health, but will also protect non-smokers in their environment from the adverse effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
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