We all know that smoking is bad for your health, and that exposure to secondhand smoke is also bad for you.
But did you know that your heart and blood vessels can be affected after as little as 10 minutes of exposure to smoke?
Healthy nonsmokers exposing to even low levels of smoke for as little as 10 minutes can cause changes in blood pressure, breathing patterns, and activate the “fight or flight” response in the sympathetic nervous system.
The “fight or flight” response increases the heart rate and blood pressure to allow the body to respond quickly to a perceived threat; continual activation of this response can cause ill effects.
These responses were more pronounced in men than in women. Sources of smoke include cigarette smoke, smoke from cooking oil, and wood smoke.
It is important to reduce our exposure to any level of smoke. Avoid being around people who smoke. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have adequate ventilation. Use proper ventilation when cooking as well.