In our last blog, we celebrated the fact that more than 25 years ago, Canada became the first country in the world to completely ban cigarette smoking on commercial national flights. Today, the “no smoking” sign is more popular than ever. With restaurants, office buildings and pretty much every other place you can go to banning cigarette smoking, we are currently living in the healthiest environments possible.
At least, most of us are. There are still people, of course, who choose to continue to smoke cigarettes. And while many of them choose to smoke outdoors – so as to not present the ill effects of secondhand smoke to their family members, friends and co-workers – cigarette smoke is still able to wreak its havoc. This is because it has an uncanny ability to both linger and seep into areas where it didn’t originally exist.
It’s important to not be tricked by the myths surrounding secondhand smoke. Many of them are used by smokers in order to justify their deadly habits. According to Health Canada, “in 2006, over 350,000 (9%) of Canadian children under 12 years old and over 600,000 children between 12 and 19 years old were exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes from cigarettes, cigars or pipes.” They note that this number is dropping, but nearly one million children are still affected each year.
So let’s expose some of the myths about secondhand smoke, shall we?
Smoking in another room is not harmful to non-smokers. As mentioned, smoke has the ability to drift from one location to another. So no one within a home is truly safe if smoking is being done inside of it. As Uniprix.com points out, “even if smoking takes place behind a closed door, second-hand smoke can drift to the rest of the house through cracks under doors, openings for plumbing and electrical cables and heating and air-conditioning ducts.”
Opening windows and turning on fans helps to eliminate smoke. In actuality, you’re not actually clearing the air of as much smoke as you may think. Health Canada reveals that “extensive studies have shown that there is no level of ventilation that will eliminate the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. In addition, opening a car or room window can result in air flow back into the room or car which may cause the smoke to be blown directly back at non-smokers.”
Air purifiers and air filters can remove smoke from the air. Not so. In fact, such devices only have the ability to mask the fact that smoke is present. “Composed of both gases and extra-fine particles, second-hand smoke cannot be completely filtered from the air by most air filters,” says Uniprix.com, “Air filters are designed to reduce the number of smoke particles from the air, but they do not eliminate the gases. As a result, many cancer-causing agents remain in the air for non-smokers to breathe in.”
Smoking when my family members aren’t around won’t affect them. As mentioned, smoke has the ability to linger. So just because you’re the only one home, at the time you decide to light up, it doesn’t mean that your family won’t be affected when they return. “Researchers found that secondhand smoke can remain in contaminated dust and surfaces, even if smoking took place days, weeks or months earlier,” reports Health Canada.
That last point is especially meaningful to the team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. The fact that air contaminants have the ability to remain within homes for long durations of time is one of the top reasons our Air Quality Services are so necessary. Maintaining the best possible indoor air quality in your home requires that it be tested. For more information on how we can help, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.