Secondhand smoke not only decreases health, it decreases happiness too—this according to a new study conducted by the American Psychosomatic Society in Chicago.
In the study, over 3,000 non-smokers were repeatedly exposed to secondhand smoke. Researchers evaluated each participant and found that secondhand smoke exposure caused many to exhibit signs of serious depression. (Similar results were found in the same study conducted in Japan.) The U.S. study went on to conclude that simply working where smoking was allowed in public places more than doubled the risk of depression of non-smokers.
In addition to causing depression, secondhand smoke also raises the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. A related study conducted at the University of Cambridge, and published in the February 2009 issue of the British Medical Journal, found that inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke is likely to elevate the risk of memory problems and dementia after age 50.
The data is clear; smoking and secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone. If you’re a smoker, take every measure possible to kick the habit today. If you’re a non-smoker, avoid secondhand smoke at all costs—your happiness may depend upon it.