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A 34-year-old member asked:

What is worse, inhaling second hand smoke or smoking cigarettes?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
Second-hand: Assuming your frequency of exposure to cigarettes is the same as primary vs secondary exposure, the second-hand smoke is worse because it's not filtered and it contains more ash and combustion by-products.
Dr. Christian Mayaud
Hospital-based practice 35 years experience
"Second Hand" Myth: I am not an advocate of smoking and there are lot's of reason to quit smoking but "Second Hand Smoke" is not one of them. The expression "second-hand smoke" is a very effective piece of anti-smoking propaganda used all the time by public health officials and physicians yet there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support it's existence. It's logical to conclude but not proven in any study.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Risks less but there: While the odds are less, secondhand smoke has been linked to the development of emphysema and heart disease, just like smoking. So not as intensely risky as smoking, but still risky. People who live with smokers do need to be careful and mind their own health.
Dr. Diane Minich
Family Medicine 37 years experience
Both are bad: and can cause cancer COPD and other problems. Primary smoking is probably worse.

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Last updated Oct 24, 2015

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