The Impacts of Passive Smoking

Smoking doesn't just affect the smoker, it has an impact on the people around them too.

Smoking is really harmful to your health – but even if you don’t smoke you can be affected. Or if you smoke and your mates hang out with you, you can be harming your friends’ health too.

According to the NHS:

  • Frequent exposure to other people's smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer, even if you're a non-smoker.
  • Passive smoking also increases your risk of coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease can cause a heart attack, angina (chest pain) and heart failure.
  • It also increases your risk of stroke.
  • Cancer Research UK says that it’s estimated that second-hand smoke kills over 12,000 people each year in the UK from lung cancer and disease, as well as heart disease.

So may want to re-consider chumming your mate that smokes, outside to chat.

If they smoke in the car you could ask them politely if they could maybe wait to have a cigarette after your journey is over (not only saving the passengers’ health but keeping that smoke smell out of your seats). Because it’s an enclosed space, the effects of second-hand smoke will be worse - even if you do have the windows rolled down.

Remember, it's now illegal in Scotland and the UK to smoke inside of a car if there's a passenger in the car aged under 18.

If you smoke, respect your friends’ decision if they tell you to go outside.

Smoking is a choice and if they don’t want to do it, then they can also ask you to not do it around you.

It might be hard to stand outside yourself (especially in the winter), but then again this might the motivation you’ve needed to quit. It’s not exactly sociable to be alone whilst your mates all chat indoors!

Find out more about how smoking impacts your health as well as your wallet.

Learn more about Smoking and the effects of inhaling smoke on the Choices for Life campaign page.