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Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking in a Room

02/20/2007

Question:

Hi,

Yesterday, I was in a rehearsal for 3 hours in a medium size closed window room, with about 10 people smoking cigarettes simultaneously, the entire time.

Can this 1 rehearsal affect or damage my singing or vocal health in any way? (I`m an opera singer)

Thanks a lot.

Answer:

Secondhand smoke is a known irritant to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, as well as potentially causing heart disease and lung cancer. There is no known safe amount of secondhand smoke.

Obviously the longer someone is exposed to secondhand smoke, the more potential for harm.  According to a study published by Katherine Hammond, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, working in a smoker-friendly office for 8 hours is approximately comparable to smoking 6 cigarettes.

It would be impossible to determine if that one rehearsal caused damage; obviously, you should try to avoid that situation in the future.

I would suggest you look at the Surgeon General’s June 2006 report: The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General June 27, 2006

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
Formerly:
Kick It!
The James
The Ohio State University