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March 2019

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Passive Smoke

When someone smokes, those around him or her smoke too. Similarly, a pregnant woman, who is smoking, is actually subjecting her fetus to the harmful effects of smoking and it is not difficult to understand that smoke from cigarettes, which is so dreadful for the smoker, is also damaging to others. Passive smoking is a serious public health risk for both children and adults. It is also a major source of indoor air pollution. It was estimated that prolonged passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by approximately 20 to 25 per cent. Smoking during pregnancy increases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and passive smoking is known to be one of the main contributing factors in the development of childhood asthma. Female fertility can suffer because of passive smoking, making it harder to conceive a child.

Sociocultural responses to alcohol consumption are diverse and varied across cultures. We have societies in the western world like the Mediterranean countries, where consuming alcohol is not frowned upon and accepted as an integral part of celebratory occasions unlike countries like India in which alcohol consumption is still fraught with cultural and social disapproval. Similarly, health establishments too may differ widely in their opinions on alcohol consumption. While some may advocate a regular consumption of moderate amounts, others may endorse, restrain or even suggest complete abstinence. This has led to a credence ambiguity for alcohol in the public. Those suffering from heart disease are no exception and some may even have the misconception that consuming liquor in small amounts has a great curative effect.

In the modern times, stress has tiptoed in our lives as an inevitable certainty. In these frantic, competitive, goals accomplishing times most people do not have any time for themselves. It seems that life has been stirred up with ever-accelerating fast forward culture, where we are expected to remarkably adapt ourselves to increasingly technologically driven lifestyles and goal-oriented demands. Unacceptable levels of stress are highly debilitating and could have serious repercussions such as sleep disorders, heart disease; eating disorders and substance abuse. Stress associated with everyday life could be a precursor to cardiovascular disease, a diagnosis that kills more people world-wide than any other disorder. Recent researches support the suggestion that social factors and job-strains play a critical role in the genesis of common chronic diseases, such as heart disease and hypertension.