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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Prolonged exposure to second hand crack smoke

01/16/2007

Question:

A friend of mine lives with a habitual crack user and is concerned about the effects of the second hand smoke he and his girlfriend are exposed to on a daily basis, basically my question is simply does he need to be worried about it and what effects can be caused by it?

Answer:

Yes, he and his wife do need to worry about it, since we know that some is absorbed just from being in the same area as someone who is smoking any substance.  Also, the smoke can harm people like the smoke from cigarettes harms second hand smokers. 

Concerns include increased risk for cancer, chronic lung disease, and many others.  It would be best to get away from that person for many reasons including the dangerous lifestyle associated with crack use.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University