Effects of smoking

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Everyone has heard about the deadly effects of smoking, but what about the deadly effects of second-hand smoking?

Second-hand smoking kills 38,000 to 65,000 people yearly, according to the 2006 Surgeon General’s report. It mostly affects children, however, since the smoke immediately affects the heart and blood circulation in extremely harmful ways.

Pregnant women who smoke or are exposed to smoking have a much greater risk of low-weight babies, which can lead to disease or premature death. Women who are exposed to smoking can also pass along the harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke to their babies when they breast feed them.

Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are one and a half times more likely to start smoking.

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So, what are we to do when there is no safe level of second-hand smoke exposure?

It’s simple: Ban smoking in public places. Or just impose stronger regulations on smoking. We could start small by having more awareness of the deadly effects of second-hand smoking. However, the easiest way to make sure second-hand smoking is no longer a problem is helping people through the quitting process.

If you are a smoker, it doesn’t affect only your body; it affects co-workers, friends, family and the ones you love.

Do you really want to be responsible for their sickness or even death?

Elizabeth LaRochelle, Auburn

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