As a freshman, I have seen more smoking here in State College than I was use to at home. I grew up in Hermosa Beach, California, where there are strict laws about smoking cigarettes and it is illegal to smoke in public. So walking around I would never encounter secondhand smoke. Here, in State College, I see smokers everyday and have experienced more secondhand smoke than I expected. No one in my family smokes and I have never really been around a heavy smoker but I began to wonder what effect secondhand smoke has on someone. I know there has been many opinions about this topic that contradict each other so I had to do some research to get a better idea of if there were really effects or not.
In one study, it stated that secondhand smoke increases one’s chances of getting heart disease by about 30%. The researchers in this study took the effects on someone who was affected by secondhand smoke and compared it with the effects of smoking on the actual smoker. It became clear that one’s cardiovascular region was greatly affected by secondhand smoke and the secondhand smoke has an affect on heart rate, metabolism, and causes inflammation.
Another study was a randomized-double blind experiment with 8 men and 8 women. The experiment measured the effects of secondhand smoke in a restaurant before going, after being there for an hour, and after being there for 3 hours. After having been there for only an hour, there were major effects on the subjects. There was an affect on lung function and the men and women were experiencing inflammation.
I began to look into secondhand smoke when it came to pregnancy and found out that at all different points of pregnancy, there is a large effect. Prior to becoming pregnant, secondhand smoke has a major effect on fertility for someone who is trying to get pregnant. Once pregnant, secondhand smoke exposure can cause reduced fetal growth. The chance of getting sudden infant death syndrome goes up by 50% when the babies mother is breathing in secondhand smoke. After pregnancy, the babies lungs may face complications as a result. They are more likely to develop asthma or have respiratory problems.
After everything I read, it is clear that secondhand smoke does have an effect on someone and in no case is the effect a positive one.