Effects of Secondhand Smoke

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.

8 thoughts on “Effects of Secondhand Smoke

  1. cmt5658

    This idea of behind second hand smoke is so scary because there is really nothing you can do to prevent it. Even if you yourself choose yourself not to smoke, you can still receive the harmful effects from it just from walking down the street. Unlike you, I’m from Philly, a big city where there are smokers everywhere 24/7. I remember when I was a kid I used to hold my breath when I walked by a smoker, but now I have gotten so used to it that I barely realize it. This article (http://no-smoke.org/goingsmokefree.php?id=447) discusses smoke free campuses and how universities are trying to prevent smoking. However, Penn State is a dry campus which doesn’t stop people from drinking, so I am not sure how they would enforce the no smoking.

  2. Dominic DeCinque

    You were just like me before coming to Penn State. Where I am from, no one really smokes. Majority of the people in my high school didn’t smoke and neither does anyone in my family. Really, I never understood the point of smoking because why would you do something that can seriously harm your long term health? Second hand smoke is a real thing, but it must be exhaled too. If you are in a smokey room with no air flow, of course second hand smoke is a thing. Over time, second hand smoke begins to take a toll on your lungs. Just because a person is around a smoker for fifteen minutes does not mean that they will be greatly affected. Below is a link that talks about the long term effects of second hand smoke.

  3. Nathan Andrew Morningstar

    Having grown up with Parents that both smoked, I can understand the health issues associated with secondhand smoke. However in this article one thing did peak my intrest. When it was mentioned that the percentage of a baby dying from sudden infant death syndrome increases by 50 percent, it made me think if this statement could be true. The only reason I question it is because correlation does not always causation. Since we don’t know what causes SIDS in the first place, its is hard to determine whether this statement is completely true or not.

  4. Jaier Vicente Avecillas

    There are many bad side effects in smoking all the chemicals that are in the air from lighting it tar chemicals and nicotine making people crave more. I’m surprised people still want to smoke. I just did a topic on smoking and vaping and some studies show that vaping can help people get off cigarettes. But since vaping is a new technology and we can’t study the long term effect until later. You should check it out if you interested in the topic it will be uploaded as soon as I get the pictures up.

  5. Alexis Paige

    Seeing as how most studies have found the claim that secondhand smoking is bad to be true, I am glad the government has stepped in a little bit. I can still remember when I was little, going to a restaurant and asking to sit in the non-smoking area. Although it was better for the costumer, the people working there like waitresses still were really around a bunch of smoke. I wonder how that affected them. Would being exposed to enough smoke actually cause the same cancers you get from smoking?

  6. Sarah Tarczewski

    I’ve always talked about the dangers of secondhand smoke so I’m glad to know my concerns have been valid. Maybe “glad” is the wrong word as I was write about someone that can severely effect one’s health against their will. If it makes you feel any better, Penn State’s student government is in the process of making our campus smoke free. They presented the case to Faculty Senate who are now in the process of creating a task force to look into how that could be implemented. There is a lot that goes into this policy, but hopefully in a year’s time we won’t have to deal with these harmful effects anymore.

    1. Alexis Paige

      That is a really exciting development! I hate seeing people smoke on campus and also walking behind somebody who smokes. Nothing else ruins my day more than getting hit by a cloud of poisonous smoke lol. I feel like if you want to smoke after everything that was found out about it, then it is your decision but please don’t bring me into it. I am in totally support of this although I am not sure how they would enforce it for everybody! Great idea!

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