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Can secondhand smoke lead to addiction?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by k9cb, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    I'm thinking of a particular family I knew growing up who always had a smoke-filled home. From what I remember, nearly all of the children in that household ended up being smokers. It made me sad, but I always wondered if they'd developed a dependence on nicotine without ever smoking themselves. Granted, they would have had to choose to smoke their first cigarette, but perhaps something would have "clicked" after they smoked it.

    Does anyone have any experience growing up in a smoking household? Did it seem to foster or initiate nicotine dependence?
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  2. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    No second hand smoke can't cause addiction. I know people who grew up in homes with smokers, and never took it up. I started smoking when I was a teenager and it wasn't because my dad smoked. As long as you're not smoking the cigarette yourself you shouldn't be addicted to it. I think people smoke because of social reasons.
    k9cb likes this.
  3. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Nicotine is the drugs in tobacco that causes addiction.
    So the question really is "is there enough nicotine in second hand smoke to cause addiction"
    My gut reaction is the same as @Tsky45 no way!
    BUT did a some google fu and found this
    So there IS nicotine in second hand smoke!
    Maybe not enough to cause addiction, but certainly enough to "increase vulnerability to nicotine addiction"
    k9cb likes this.
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    While second hand smoke I don't think is addictive, there's certainly a lot of health issues that can arise by being around smokers over a period of time. A lot of people say that it might be even worse for you than actually smoking a cigarette yourself, and while I'm not sure how true that is, as a smoker myself I try not to smoke around others or in a public place, just to be certain.
  5. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    That would have to be a lot of second hand smoke. I suppose it's still cigarette smoke, but compared to the amount a smoker takes in, what you'd get from sitting near someone smoking is next to nothing. It's enough to present health problems though, assuming you take in second hand smoke on a daily basis.
  6. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I never really thought of that. I grew up in a smokers house and I hated the thing. I never took to it, and actually resented it. But I do see that it can have a strangle hold on some kids growing up. They are subjecated to smoke all their lives and eventually, they will get addicted to it.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Second hand smoke can't lead to addiction. However since dependence results from exposure to or use of drugs for a long time it's possible that someone who is been exposed to a lot of second hand smoke over a long period of time will have nicotine cravings.

    Since they don't smoke however they won't know that to satisfy their cravings they'd have to smoke a cigarette. This lack of knowledge could keep them relatively safe [for a little while]. But should they ever smoke a cigar then that person will most likely find it hard to stop smoking.
    k9cb likes this.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do not think that secondhand smoke could make someone like to smoke. Maybe seeing everyone in their family smoking can influence them to smoke. It is like just a normal thing to them and most probably they do not see smoking a bad thing because of what is around them.
    k9cb likes this.
  9. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    Thanks, JonnyMacdonald! I just always assumed there was nicotine in second hand smoke, but I see how one might assume there isn't. So I guess we have an answer: there some but not enough to cause a full-blown addiction.

    I would imagine an increase in the vulnerability to nicotine addiction coupled with a social and familial pressure that normalize it and even make it appealing could do quite a good job of fostering an addiction.
  10. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    JoshPosh, I was actually like that also. Both of my parents smoked, and my sister and I would always fight with them about it. Eventually they stopped smoking around us, and my dad ended up quitting. I have "socially" smoked in my life (not anymore), but never got addicted. In generally, though, cigarette smoke really bothers me, and it will linger with me for days after I've been exposed to it. An addiction was never fostered for me, like it seems to have been for people I know.
  11. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    Rainman, that's kind of the feeling I got: that they would be developing an addiction they didn't know they had. I think for most people, the first puff of a cigarette is unpleasant, and it tastes bad. For someone who unknowingly has developed a dependence on nicotine, a first drag might make them feel good immediately. Then, ta-da, addiction.
    Rainman likes this.
  12. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    Referring to your questions;
    Does anyone have any experience growing up in a smoking household? Did it seem to foster or initiate nicotine dependence?
    I did grow up in a household where my Step Dad smoked and my Mother occasionally,
    now I'm 15 years old and addicted to smoking for two years by now.
    I think that it has some sort of an impact on you're future decisions when it comes to smoking,
    and it does make a nicotine dependence, slightly of course. :-(
  13. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I wonder if just observing your parents smoking has an effect, the old monkey see and monkey do.
    I notice parents who smoke tend to have kids who smoke also.
    k9cb likes this.
  14. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    If it did then my fiance would have started smoking earlier than he did, I guess. He grew up in a house filled with smoke as a id, because his parents were idiotic enough to smoke in front of him and his sister when he was just a toddler. But I think I have talked about that story a lot times already, lol.

    I have heard second hand smoke can actually be as bad for the non smoker as it is for the smoker. A singer in my country is a huge smoker and has been for years, he even smoked on stage! His wife died of lung cancer... he can't breathe on his own now.
  15. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    Probably the kids that are looking at their smoking parents think that it isn't anything harmful for their health,
    and they start smoking without knowing about the consequences, sick.
  16. k9cb

    k9cb Active Contributor

    You started smoking when you were 13?! 15 is very young. You'd have a much easier time quitting now than down the road. Why do you smoke? What made you start? Where do you even get cigarettes from?

    I lost my father to smoking related cancer many years after he quit. It's not worth it. You're too young to have an addiction like this. If you quit now, you can hopefully avoid health problems down the road.
  17. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    Answering to you're questions, I started smoking out of pure curiosity then that lead me to addiction.
    I have a lot of older friends that buy me cigarettes whenever I ask them. Also smoking is a some sort
    of way to cope with all of the stress I'm dealing with and the problems I'm struggling with.