Smoking, by now, has been established as one of the leading causes of death worldwide, second only to heart disease. For some, smoking is a personal choice. But that is until it starts affecting someone else.
Family members are most commonly the first group to be affected, but they are not exclusive. Up until recently, evidence supporting the impacts of second-hand smoke, though comprehensive and accurate, went unnoticed.
A 2010 study found conclusive evidence, gathered from 192 countries, linking second-hand smoke to lung cancer, respiratory illness and heart disease. This comprehensive study estimates that approximately 600,000 people die worldwide each year as a direct result of second-hand smoke. Nearly a third of the deceased are children, who didn’t have a choice.
A fact that many parents wish they didn’t know: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is more prevalent among infants whose parents smoke in the house.
As of right now, smoking at home is protected under the law, but with the mortality rate of those affected by second-hand smoke, shouldn’t be smoking in the presence of a non-smoker be illegal? If it is a personal choice, keep it personal. Exposing your loved ones to second-hand smoke is just as much a crime as buying a pack of cigarettes for a minor.