ZocdocAnswersCan secondhand smoke effect the brain?

Question

Can secondhand smoke effect the brain?

Can second hand smoke effect a person psychologically? We already know there are a bunch of nasty things that are produced when burning a cigarette. I want to know if any of these cause things like paranoia? I work with a number of smokers, I am always exposed to the after effects. Which are associated with the allergy of tobacco . (even if 'allergy' isn't the most correct description, since that isn't what the question is about ) I am noticing strange changes in my mind... including but not limited to, very slight paranoia. I hate smokers. I hate the people themselves... now I'm looking for things that may or not be there. Getting uncontrollably angry. Things that I only notice when I have to work with these people. But I am unsure if it's really all in my head. or if somehow I'm being effected by the smoke.

Answer

Second hand smoke can definitely cause several major bad health effects. However, these are generally related to the health of your lungs. For example, people with asthma will often find that their asthma is made worse by exposure to second hand smoke. Similarly, studies have shown that people who are exposed to large amounts of second hand smoke (such as people who work in smoky bars) are at higher risk for chronic lung diseases and for lung cancer. I am not aware of any specific effects of second hand smoke on mood or on anger levels. Therefore, I would suggest going to see your primary care doctor, who can help you figure out where these symptoms are coming from. If I were to speculate, I might guess that the anger and other symptoms are related more to your personal stress levels, or to discontent with your job environment or to interpersonal conflict with your coworkers (who also happen to be smokers). However, the best thing would be to visit with your doctor to explain what you are feeling. They'll be able to help you determine the best course of action to get you to feel better.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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