I’m sure that most people could work out by common sense that smoking cigarettes is bad for a person’s lungs and therefore their fitness. How many times have you heard someone say “I need to stop smoking and go to the gym”. But what about the people who share houses with smokers, they don’t smoke the actual cigarette, so they should be fine right?
Actually no, it seems that living with a person who smokes in the house and breathing in this passive smoke filled air is just as bad as smoking the actual cigarette for the non-smoker. That’s not a fair deal right?
When comparing the health and fitness of people who didn’t live in smoking households, with people who do, the smokers and the people living in their house tended to have lungs that were more unhealthy and functioned more poorly, and tended to be much more unfit that the people who lived in smoker free households.
This is quite interesting, since the smokers and passive smokers had similar levels of poor fitness and lung function, when we expected the passive smokers to have much better levels because they weren’t directly smoking cigarettes.
This area of research is complicated, since many factors like time spent in smoke filled air and types of cigarette exposed to could change these findings. But it serves as a reminder and extra motivation for people who are trying to quit smoking, that you shouldn’t just do it for yourself but the people you surround yourself with too.
Faye Prior (Researcher)
de Borba et al., (2014). The influence of active and passive smoking on the cardiorespiratory fitness of adults. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 9, 34.
Eisner. (2002). Environmental tobacco smoke exposure and pulmonary function among adults in NHANES III: impact on the general population and adults with current asthma. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110, 765-70.