Passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke -- these are some of the terms that also mean second-hand smoke. Health advocates stress that the smoke that burns off the end of a cigar or cigarette contains more dangerous chemicals and substances than the one inhaled by the smoker, which poses a more hazardous threat to even the healthiest non-smoker.
Those who never had a cigarette may feel safe in not doing so. However, they could also be in harm's way. Whenever they get exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis, their bodies also absorb high levels of nicotine, tar, and other dangerous substances, just as smokers do.
With this, non-smokers can also increase their chances of developing smoking-related disorders such as emphysema, lung cancer, heart disease, asthma and ear, nasal and throat infections just by exposing themselves to second-hand smoke.
Occupations at high risk of receiving the harmful effects of second-hand smoke include those who work in the service industry, like restaurant servers, bartenders, and waiters. The smoke-filled work environments put them at higher risk of developing respiratory infections.
Pregnant women who frequent areas where smokers converge are at risk of inhaling harmful substances, and this puts their babies at risk as well.
Today, there are a handful of second-hand smoke testing kits available, which allow for on-site testing for second-hand smoke exposure. These products can be used at home, in the office or at school, with the results quickly provided in minutes.
Second-hand smoke testing kits allow users to exactly establish second-hand smoke exposure by determining the levels of cotinine, which is a metabolite of nicotine, in urine.