Dangers of tobacco smoke pollution
For the person who smokes, the dangers are listed on the cigarette packages themselves. Lung cancer, emphysema, and carbon monoxide poisoning are among them. With every puff of smoke the air passageways narrow, making it more difficult to breathe. The cilia are paralyzed, thus preventing them from doing their job of cleansing the lungs. Mucus-clogged and irritated air passageways are ripe for emphysema and bronchitis. Carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels, elevates the blood pressure and heart rate, and irritates the heart itself. In pregnant women these poisons cross the placenta and harm the fetus. Cancer-producing tars blacken the lungs. Marijuana smoke has many of the same health-damaging effects, plus some that are unique. Its active ingredient, THC, stays in the body longer than any other drug. With continued use it builds up in the fatty tissues, especially in the brain and in the gonads.
Cigarette smoke is also one of the main indoor-air pollutants. Those regularly exposed to second-hand smoke over an extended period of time are put at a significant risk for developing the same diseases and sharing some of the same physical impairments as the smoker. Small children, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and those with respiratory or heart diseases are the most vulnerable, and may not even be able to tolerate minimal exposure. These persons are also the ones most likely to be affected by other types of indoor pollution.
Sources of indoor pollution
With the awareness of the energy crisis, one of the adaptations in society was to "weatherize" homes. Tighter living quarters decrease the exchange rate between inside and outside air. Weatherizing is good for keeping the heat in, but it also keeps in polluted air.