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How many die-hard smokers are aware that they are inadvertently causing harm to others around them because of the danger of inhaling the cigarette smoke exhaled by them? In spite of so many awareness programmes, many people tend to ignore the warnings as being over-hyped and blissfully continue to contaminate and pollute the atmosphere. It literally means that even the non-smokers are actually smoking – after all they are breathing in other people's smoke that contains the same harmful substances even if it is exhaled smoke! This then is what is commonly known as 'passive smoking'. Can you imagine the harm these toxins can cause in children who inhale this poison?

Cigarette smoke contains so many dangerous chemicals like tar (which causes cancer) carbon monoxide (which is capable of lowering the oxygen your blood can carry) poisons like arsenic, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide that can cause immeasurable harm to your health when inhaled. All these poisonous substances can be absorbed by clothes, furniture and even the walls of your house or the inside of your car. Inhaling these toxins can cause diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, wheezing and coughing, ear infections and may even result in kids becoming asthmatic. The World Health Organization warns that this passive smoking

* Increases the risk of the kid developing heart disease and even cancer as an adult.
* May even be a contributing factor to behavioral problems and learning difficulties in children.
* Causes young kids thus exposed to become prone to more dental decay problems than other children.

Thanks to all the anti-smoking propaganda, many work places, public places, buses, shops and common areas have gone totally smoke-free. People are able to move freely without the health hazards posed by smokers. Most people have also made their homes smoke free and do not even put out ashtrays to emphasize their point. Smokers would do well to remember that by smoking in front of their kids, they not only cause damage to health but are in a way ensuring that the kids become smokers too. Now isn't that a scary thought – enough to make you stop smoking?