Sec­ond-hand smoke likely can cause lung dis­ease: physi­cian

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY BRIAN LIN

Per­sons who in­hale sec­ond­hand smoke may have a greater like­li­hood of get­ting chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease (COPD), a com­mon lung dis­ease that makes it hard to breathe.

Smok­ing is a main cause of COPD, but there has been a re­cent uptick in cases of non-smok­ers who are di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to Wang Chin­chou, direc­tor of the Di­vi­sion of Pul­monary and Crit­i­cal Care Medicine at the Kaoh­si­ung Chang Gung Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal

Most of the pa­tients had been ex­posed to an en­vi­ron­ment with sec­ond-hand smoke, Wang said.

Wang cited the ex­am­ple of a 60-year-old woman vis­ited a physi­cian for what she be­lieved was asthma. The clinic ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity and found out that she had func­tion in half of her kid­ney. The woman had been ex­posed to sec­ond-hand smoke for a pro­tracted pe­riod of time through her hus­band, he said.

Wang said nearly 10 per­cent of his pa­tients seek help be­cause their im­mune sys­tems are af­fected sec­ond-hand smoke.

Over the past few years, the num­ber of pa­tients with lung dis­ease caused by sec­ond-hand smoke has been on the rise, he said.

Be­sides cig­a­rette smoke, PM2.5 aerosols are an­other cause of COPD, Wang added.

Doc­tors rec­om­mend that COPD pa­tients stop smok­ing, elim­i­nate sec­ond-hand smoke, avoid ac­cess to ar­eas with high aerosol con­cen­tra­tions and wear sur­gi­cal masks when out­doors.

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