How many cigarettes does a passive smoker smoke a year?

We all know that smoking kills but freedom of choice means that smokers can make up their own minds if the risks are ok. Passive smoking however doesn’t allow the same choice. Regularly breathing in someone else’s smoke, which is also known as second-hand smoke, causes cancer. Passive smoking increases the chance of catching the disease by as much as a quarter.


Health problems

Aside from cancer, passive smoking can also cause heart disease, stroke and breathing issues. Each year passive smoking takes 12,000 lives in the UK, including children who are too young to take up smoking.


Children who are exposed to second hand smoke run the risk of developing bacterial meningitis, respiratory infections, asthma and cot death. Each year there are something like 165,000 new cases of illness in children thanks to second-hand smoke. Over 1 in 5 children in the UK live in a household with at least one smoker. What most smokers forget is that their smoke spreads throughout the house so even if they only smoke in one designated room, their smoke will get around the home. Around 85% of tobacco smoke is invisible, so smoking outside is a must if you live with children.

Smoking in a car

Another place that smokers tend to light up without much thought is the car. Smoke can reach very high levels within a confined space like a car, and during your journey children in the backseat will be exposed to smoke levels three times higher than the European maximum air pollution standards. Obviously this really does depend on how much you smoke while driving, how much smoke escapes through the window and whether the air conditioning is on or not.

How many cigarettes are smoked passively?

There’s no way of putting a number on the amount of cigarettes smoked passively by individuals in the UK or anywhere else but people will always ask for this statistic as a way of proving that passive smoking is a major issue.

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