Publication Date



International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Secondhand smoke (SHS), composed of mainstream and sidestream smoke, is a known human carcinogen. It contains a variety of harmful substances at even higher concentrations than mainstream smoke itself, which is inhaled during firsthand smoking. Exposure to SHS, affecting more than a third of the worldwide population, increases the likelihood of lung cancer by roughly 30%, with specific contributions depending on the histological type of cancer. This study aimed to present the harmful potential of SHS through case reports and describe the burden of SHS via a literature review. From a collection of lung cancer case reports occurring in never smokers from the Olomouc district over the last 10 years, 2 cases with no risk factors for lung cancer except for significant exposure to SHS were identified. Both cases were of young women who lived in households where their parents smoked during childhood. They suffered from rarer histological types of lung cancer in which the association with SHS has not yet been analyzed. As the literature confirms, SHS has the most adverse effects in individuals exposed during childhood. It is necessary to both take measures to reduce the prevalence of SHS, especially among children in households and pay due attention to the smoking history of patients, including current and previous exposure to SHS, when obtaining anamnestic data. Furthermore, the effect of SHS on rarer histological types of lung cancer should be studied.


childhood, lung cancer, mainstream smoke, secondhand smoke, sidestream smoke, smoking status.



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