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Secondary smoking, secondhand smoke, passive smoking and involuntary smoking all refer to non-smokers inhaling the smoke of smokers. Secondhand smoke contains about 4000 chemicals and toxins, which linger in the air. Some 43 of these toxins are cancerous poisons. Secondary smoke is especially harmful to infants and young children because of their immature bodies.

Infants and children exposed to smoke are susceptible to numerous health risks. For babies, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) occurs 3 times as frequently to smoking pregnant mothers. Mums who refrained lighting up during pregnancy but resumed smoking after delivery expose the baby to high risks of SIDS. This is due to tobacco's smoke toxins entering the infant's immature body and paralyzing or damaging the body.

Involuntary smoking also causes ear infections in children as their middle ears are still immature and the smoke attacks their immune system. The weakened immunity renders the child susceptible to viral and bacterial infections

Secondhand smoke damages lung development in children and makes them prone to fall ill to respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Passive smoking worsens asthmatic children. It may also induce asthma in otherwise healthy children.

Smoke has so many toxins that it causes lung cancer in non-smokers who inhale the smoke. Constant exposure to tobacco smoke doubles the risk of getting heart disease.

You can reduce the dangers of secondhand smoke by following some simple rules:
-Ban smoking in your house and car. Toxins from smoke remain for ages in the surrounding atmosphere.

-If someone must smoke within your vicinity, please request the smoker to light up somewhere isolated to prevent toxins circulating within your vicinity via the ventilation system.

-Ban smoking in houses with infants and children. Smoke drifts and circulates to contaminate the entire house.

Be firm in your battle against involuntary smoking. Non-smokers have the right to say "No!" to passive smoking.