Lungs Cannot Tell Difference


Breathing in Vicinity of Smokers


I drove by a compelling public-service billboard on a bus stop. With reference to second­hand smoke, it said, “Your lungs don’t know the differ­ence.” Whether you inhale or are in the presence of others who do so, the smoke from cigarettes, cigars or vaping enters your lungs. This is why so many public establishments now ban smoking.

Years ago, a companion and I were dining in the patio of a restaurant while I was gagging on the secondhand smoke from a nearby table. So my companion went over to the table and told the offender, "Excuse me, you’re killing my friend.” The cigarette was promptly extinguished.

Smokers often get well-meaning help that exacerbates the problem. An enabler is a family member or friend that supports and often defends the actions of some­one abusing themself.

You may hear: ‘Accept him without judgment.’ An enabler might buy cigarettes or allow a family member to smoke outside on porch. An enabler laughs at the jokes smokers tell to justify their destructive behavior.

Too Much Smoke

Smoke seeps into upholstery, permeates carpeting, and coats the paint on the walls of your residence. So family members breathe in carcinogens long after the smoke subsides.

Though it is possible to transplant lungs, surgery is expensive and has a survival rate of a few years. Additionally, someone with a smoking addiction is not likely to qualify as a candidate for transplantation.

Smoking leads to many respiratory problems. We are most aware of lung cancer. But there is also Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma. Wheezing, coughing, chest pains, or fatigue become evident.

The real victims are family members, workmates, and people in the vicinity of those who smoke. Are you an enabler? Seriously consider becoming an advocate—someone who looks out for the interest of others. Are you a smoker? Whether you want to hear it or not, smoking is a bad habit. You have heard that secondhand smoke kills. So does firsthand smoke.

To remain A Bit More Healthy, you know you need to overcome nasty effects of smoking and stop. Because it is an addiction, few people can cease on their own. Ask a pulmonary physician for assistance and seek out free support groups.

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Updated: Oct 27, 2022

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