Passive smoking, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or second-hand smoke (SHS) represents the involuntary inhaling of tobacco released by others in the ambient air. Passive smoking exposure occurs in homes, workplaces, and in other public places such as bars, restaurants, and recreation venues. It consists of a complex mixture of mainstream smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke given off by the combustion of tobacco products. Non-smokers, being exposed to the same toxic substances as identified in mainstream tobacco smoke are, therefore, at an increased risk for serious adverse health effects. Although attention has centered mainly on the harmful effects of SHS exposure in the pediatric population, epidemiologic data from the last 20 years showed increased risks on various respiratory pathologies of the adult. Inhaling SHS causes injury to the respiratory tract, resulting in a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms, asthma, impairment of lung function and increased bronchial responsiveness. In adults, passive smoking is also associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, especially in those with high exposure. On the basis of recent publications, we propose a review of history, biologic basis and effects on different respiratory pathologies of the exposure to SHS in adults.
Part of the book: Smoking Prevention and Cessation
Respiratory muscle weakness is the main contributor to respiratory imbalance in patients with neuromuscular diseases (NMD). In the advanced stages of the disease, patients develop a chronic respiratory failure due to muscle weakness, which is the principal cause of death among these patients. Respiratory muscle weakness ultimately causes alveolar hypoventilation, initially nocturnal, and later daytime respiratory failure. The signs and symptoms of early respiratory muscle weakness are discrete, namely: dyspnoea on effort, orthopnea, insomnia, frequent nocturnal awakenings, morning headache, loss of appetite, excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and marked fatigue. The management of respiratory failure in neuromuscular diseases requires the use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to assist the respiratory muscles in order to correct the alveolar hypoventilation and ameliorate gas exchange. NIV thus slows down the decline of forced vital capacity thereby improving the patient’s quality of life, physical activity and hemodynamics, normalization of blood gases, slight improvement in other physiological measures, and maximal mouth pressures and increases survival. NIV support should be offered to all patients who present with early signs of ventilatory failure as it is probably the most effective among treatments in prolonging life in neuromuscular patients.
Part of the book: Noninvasive Ventilation in Medicine