Difference Between Active and Passive Smoking

Active vs Passive Smoking

Smoking or tobacco smoking is a habit that has been here since the time of the Aztecs, and it has spread throughout the world with the popularization of the tobacco plant as a commercial crop. Males are the commonest smokers, but the female smokers have been steadily crossing the demographic line over time. Tobacco comes in varied forms of rolled or stuffed hollow vessels, which can be used to smoke. Tobacco smoke usually contains carcinogenic hydrocarbons and nicotine along with radioactive carcinogens, as well. Smoking tobacco causes many adverse health outcomes. It can cause psychological dependence, along with the pulmonary problems like emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and recurrent infections. In the cardiovascular system, they tend to cause ischaemic heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and peripheral vascular disease. There is a higher tendency to acquire infections, especially respiratory tract infections, and they can also cause male and female sub fertility along with erectile dysfunction in men. Tobacco smoke is associated with the higher incidence of carcinoma risk. Cancers associated with smoking include the cancer along the gastrointestinal tract, oral cancers, oesophageal cancers, stomach cancers, pancreatic cancers, and along the respiratory tract with laryngeal cancers and lung cancers. Other important cancers include breast cancer, bone marrow cancers, and small intestine cancers. Thus, there is clear evidence proving that tobacco smoking has adverse effects on the healthy lifestyle of a human. There are several types of smoking, and we need to consider that, as well. Here, we will discuss active smoking and passive smoking, and their effect on health aspect.

What is Active Smoking?

As the name suggests, active smoking means that the person is actively lighting up a cigarette and smoking it. The negative health aspects associated with cigarette smoke are obviously in line with this type smoking. But here, the process of smoking has a greater psychological impact due to the cigarette, which creates an oral fixation. In addition, the staining of fingers and the oropharynx due to nicotine is more with active smoking. The hot air and the heated particles can scorch the epithelium causing more infections in the upper respiratory tract.

What is Passive Smoking?

Passive smoking, also known as second hand smoking or environmental tobacco smoke, is created through the exhaled particles of an active smoker. This is also associated with similar conditions as mentioned above but some are to a lesser aspect. There is no psychological dependence, but there can be a chemical dependence created by it. There will be no staining due to nicotine, and the scorching of the oropharynx is also absent.


What is the difference between Active Smoking and Passive Smoking?

• Both passive and active smokers face the same predicaments in the case of adverse health effect, but there are a greater proportion of them in the active smokers.

• The main difference is the difference of incidence as well as the psychological and chemical dependence in active smokers, and only the chemical dependence in passive smokers.

• The scorching and staining along with the inhalation of soot is seen in active smokers and, in passive smokers, there is only evidence of high carbon monoxide and nicotine metabolites.

Thus, neither active nor passive smoking is good, but active smoking is worse off than passive smoking.