2nd hand smoke... is it really THAT BAD? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm bothered by these "truth" ads on TV, the ones, "I was diagnosed with cancer, my doctor said it was from cigarettes, but I never smoked..."

As far as I know, tumors don't come autographed, and I keep thinking back to this lesson we did in High School health class. We were supposed to number this list on what we thought was most to least risk factors for cancer. We most all thought smoking was #1, it was #5, commuting in congested traffic was number 1. (and that was SMOKING, not 2nd hand smoke! Although it was emphasized to us that of the list smoking was the enviromental factor we had the most control over.)

I can't help but to wonder... How much of these cancers are really from 2nd hand smoke, and how much are from other pollutants in the atmosphere? What are the rates of non-smoker's lung cancer in LA & Huston per capita compared to rural areas of high rainfall/low air pollution in Western WA & OR?

So, I do what I try to do with all incoming information... follow the money... I REALLY, REALLY, wish I knew where that information in health class came from, I don't but I still look at what I know without any reasearch at all... GW/GOP in white house... oil industry and other major polluters their best friends, auto industry (the CEOs, not the union workers) Republican-affiliated, correct? Tobacco, I don't know much about who it's paying off more, but it's grown in the south, which is historically considered Democratic (although don't know if that's still true in the Bible Belt, since the Republican's have "found Jesus"--or at least the conservative Christian vote). Even if it's not a partisan issue, who has more money to buy politicans--a handful of tobacco companies or oil & other major polluters?

Could it be possible that anti-smoking and anti-2nd hand smoke laws are more than just health-related? Does anything get that much press without having major funding pushed from somewhere? When was the last time you saw an ad on TV from the Health Dept encouraging people to eat healthy & exercise--isn't that a concern for a larger percentage of the population than the 25% who smoke, and isn't it running neck & neck with smoking for the number one preventable factor in cause of death?

Wacky conspiracy theory? : Maybe, but I'd still like to know the answers to some of my questions before my city council votes for the next public smoking-ban. Anyone else have any information from independent sources? (And as non-vaxers and such, we all know how hard truly "independent" sources are to come by.)
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#2 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 08:03 AM
 
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I don't have an sources of research for you, but my mother died of non-smoking lung cancer. She did smoke cigarettes, briefly, while she was in college, but they did not cause her cancer. Her doctors told her that whatever caused her cancer started in her childhood. She grew up downwind from the Bethlehem Steel plant in Buffalo, NY. The air was polluted to a degree that we don't see here anymore. They had a white house and had to paint it *every* year because the pollution in the air would turn it grey in that time. Finally, they gave in and just painted the house grey. They couldn't just swipe a rag over the furniture to dust it, b/c there were tiny metal particles in their dust that would scratch the furniture if they did so. My mom's daily chore was to sweep the front porch and she said it would kick up a huge cloud of silvery, metallic dust.

But OTOH, my grandfather chain-smoked, so my mom was breathing heavy ammounts of second hand smoke for her entire childhood. I suspect that both the pollution and the cigarette smoke contributed to her cancer, but the steel mill pollution was probably more to blame.

I've read that the second most common cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking is radon gas, which occurs naturally and is sometimes found in people's houses.

Quote:
When was the last time you saw an ad on TV from the Health Dept encouraging people to eat healthy & exercise--isn't that a concern for a larger percentage of the population than the 25% who smoke, and isn't it running neck & neck with smoking for the number one preventable factor in cause of death?
I think that you will soon be seeing PSAs related to the dangers of obesity. There was a big thread in activism about a particularly offensive run of ads.
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#3 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 09:04 AM
 
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There are numerous sources that suggest second hand smoke is dangerous. Here are two links that I found. When I searched Google for the "effects of second hand smoke," I came up with 11 pages of sites.

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/etsfs.html

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/pedia...d_hand_smk.htm


Think of it this way. The person smoking is "protected" from some of the harmful agents produced by the burning tobacco, additives, and paper by the filter attached at the end of the cigarette. The person near them is breathing the smoke without any such filter.

I am not an anti-smoking pulpit person. I smoked from the time I was about 12 until about a year before I got pregnant. At some points I was a two pack per day person. I also smoked noon-filtered cigarettes for a while. I have had one or two on occassion, but NEVER in front of my child.

If you are a smoker you make the choice to smoke, a child doesn't. If you are a non-smoker, you have made a choice to not smoke. Why should someone who cannot make an informed choice or one who has made a choice be subject to smoke.
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#4 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 09:05 AM
 
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I forgot to add that I find those Truth ads to be horrible and alarmist, even if some of the information they provide is true.

I think they are in bad taste.
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#5 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 10:01 AM
 
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There was a recent Australian research study that tested levels of smoke in places with separate smoking and non smoking areas. You know like how some restaurants try to separate them, but there's no wall or barrier between. Well they found that in those 'non smoking' areas, the level of smoke pollution was reduced by 50%. I read this as I'm still being exposed to half the smoker's smoke. Not very reassuring from my perspective.

edited to add - found the link
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3507985.stm

I'm a non smoker and my mom died of smoking related lung cancer. She smoked for about 30 years, gave it up for 20 years then still got lung cancer. And half my siblings had severe asthma most probably helped along by my mother's smoking. Everyone in my immediate family smoked except me.

ITA though that other sources of air pollution just combine with cigarette smoke and 2nd hand smoke to increase your chances of lung cancer. I'm all for alarmist smoke ads if they're effective. And smoking needs to be seen as a negative, dirty, unhealthy habit, partly to undo the years of lies and pro smoking propaganda coming from the tobacco industry. After spending my childhood in a cloud of smoke with a sick family, I have no sympathy for smoker's rights. As a kid my mom would send me to the shop to buy her cigarettes and I'd 'forget' and when I got home, I'd get belted. I'd have all smokers in rehab if it was up to me.

As an individual you can cut your risk of lung cancer substantially by not smoking. There's not a lot of practical things you can do to avoid air pollution. And I do believe there's a conspiracy there - governments aren't interested in targetting air pollution too aggressively when it affects big businesses. I don't have a problem with anti smoking campaigns, I just believe more good could be done by targetting all the other sources of pollution just as agressively. But maybe the public can only 'hear' one campaign at a time for the message to really sink in well? I don't know.
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#6 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, but we don't need to hear the anti-pollution ads, we need representatives that will look at the evidence and use it to tighten EPA standards on COMPANIES. (Wasn't there a big flap about who Bush appointed to head the EPA or was that another agency I'm thinking of--it was something enviromental.)
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#7 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 02:22 PM
 
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I don't know about the cancer causing issue of 2nd hand smoke, but I do know that my dad smoked 2 packs a day until I was about 12 years old. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was around 10, but before that, I was sick with pneumonia at least once a year, usually twice. I had bronchitis more times than I can possibly count. I was hospitalized with the pneumonia 2 times, for a week each. There was at least 2 times the bronchitis progressed to pnuemonia within 12 hours. I was in the emergency room with breathing issues several times.

My brother had croup all the time- was hospitalized for it at least twice.

When my dad quit smoking when I was 12- I stopped getting sick. I no longer had middle of the night trips to the ER. I didn't get bronchitis or pneumonia until I was in college 6 or 8 years later. I still had to manage my asthma with meds, but I stopped having the severe attacks that got out of control.

I do think that 2nd hand smoke is that bad.

I'm not for banning smoking in public places, just for ensuring that bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc., have adequate ventilation. I've been in smoking allowed bars that I have no problems breathing in and bars with no ventilation that I've been sick for 2 days after leaving them. For smokers- yes, they have the filter to 'protect' them from the first hand smoke, but then they also sit in a cloud of 2nd hand smoke just like everyone else.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#8 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 05:59 PM
 
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i think 2nd hand smoke is dangerous, esp for little ones. i am all for banning smoke in public places.

i owe my quitting after almost 10 years of on again off again smoking to a psa. it was a teenaged girl (young looking college girl?) who looked into the camera and said simply,"smoking kills over 400 thousand americans every year. but it won't kill me." that is the lie we tell ourselves, n'est-ce pas?

i think the truth/get outraged ads are fantastic and true. i am glad my kids are growing up with them, wish i had.
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#9 of 16 Old 04-10-2004, 06:06 PM
 
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I agree, hippiemom. I am glad for the PSAs. I quit smoking last year and I am so relieved to have that particular monkey off my back.
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#10 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 12:05 AM
 
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My eyes swell shut , my nose stops up , my throat burns , and my chest heaves. I've been known to pass out. The ONLY trigger ? Smoke.

I agreed to babysit a toddler never having met the parents. After the first half hour , I had to call the mom at work to come and get her child. I was sick for three days with a migraine ,swollen eyes , stopped up nose and asthma difficulties. I think it's quite sad that I could get that sick from THIRD hand smoke.

Yes , smoking is that bad.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 12:30 AM
 
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Ditto. Even third hand is DISGUSTING.

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#12 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 02:12 AM
 
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Let me see if I am following the OP. You don't seem to be question the digusting nature of smoking or that it is bad, first, second or third. Okay , so far I am with you.

And you raise an excellent point. This is a nation where the mainstream media is driven by money. So if there are lots and lots of dollars being spent on an ad campaign, is it really because the government cares or are we looking at a major conspiracy here. And even though I don't want to sound like a loon, I will go out on a limb and say I have wondered the same thing. :

Why now, why not 20-30 years ago? And I don't think you can say that it is because we are more aware or that the companies were buying off the politicians then and not now because they still try in the form of major contributions to campaigns. Plus cigarettes have had the nickname coffin nails for over a hunderd years maybe even longer. And that's just one of a dozen nicknames smoking has had.

I am glad that you brought this up. I've often wondered if I was the only one questioning the motivations fo this movement.

I was just re-reading this and realized that I wanted to clarify that I meant the movement inside the mainstream media. Because the activism within groups and families that have been affected by cancer is pretty clear. Thought of something else but I have to go to bed now.
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#13 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 11:50 AM
 
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If I'm not mistaken, it's not the government paying for those ads, it's the tobacco companies. It's part of that multimillion dollar settlement that happened a few years back. Part of the settlement was that the tobacco companies agreed to produce anti-smoking ads. I'm pretty sure that's who's behind those "The Truth" ads.

I know it sounds bizarre, but that's my understanding of what's going on. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!
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#14 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 02:08 PM
 
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Slight hijack coming... But let me preface it by saying that, yes, smoking is a nasty habit, and yes, I do believe that second hand smoke is bad...

But this comment (quoted below, which I've heard from more people than I can count) always burns my britches:

Quote:
Think of it this way. The person smoking is "protected" from some of the harmful agents produced by the burning tobacco, additives, and paper by the filter attached at the end of the cigarette. The person near them is breathing the smoke without any such filter.
Um, no, smoking does not "protect" the smoker from second hand smoke. Smoking does make the second hand smoke less noticible for the smoker. But the smoker is getting the filtered smoke from the cigarette AND THE VERY SAME SECOND-HAND SMOKE as all those around him or her. No protection. None. The harmful effects of smoking and second-hand smoke do NOT cancle each other out. It's a double whamy deal!

Ok, now that I've got that off my chest... back to your regularly scheduled discussion...
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#15 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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All I know is that once I wasn't being exposed to secondhand smoke anymore 1)I felt better, 2)I didn't STINK.

Mom and I were officially diagnosed with asthma the same year, though I knew I what I had well before that. My exposure to Dad's cigar smoke was only 15 months shorter than hers.....

My exposure to the pollutants in the Kanawha Valley was about the same amount shorter than hers too.

Go figure...

"What will you do once you know?"
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#16 of 16 Old 04-11-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, it's not the government paying for those ads, it's the tobacco companies. It's part of that multimillion dollar settlement that happened a few years back. Part of the settlement was that the tobacco companies agreed to produce anti-smoking ads. I'm pretty sure that's who's behind those "The Truth" ads.
I think so too.


A relative of mine died 5 years ago from second smoke as well. Never smoked but her dh did in their home all the time. Lung cancer......she died a terrible death so yes, I think its really THAT BAD.

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