A new study presented at CHEST 2012, which is the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, has claimed breathing is impaired by secondhand smoke within 20 minutes.
Research conducted by the University of Athens in Greece discovered that after only 20 minutes of high exposure to concentrated secondhand smoke, participants experienced a range of physiological effects, including airway resistance and impedance.
Dr Panagiotis Behrakis from the university stated that bars and cars are among the places where secondhand smoke may be breathed in, adding that non-smokers are given no choice but to inhale "extreme amounts of particulates directly into their lungs".
"The observed short-term effects of secondhand smoke tell us that even a short exposure is indeed harmful for normal airways," he said.
Although smoking in public places including bars and restaurants is now banned in the UK, it is still permitted in many parts of the world despite the dangers of inhaling secondhand smoke.
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