Second Hand Smoke And Children

Exposure to secondhand smoke is a decision that children cannot make. Which is why adults need the facts on the health risks of exposing children to secondhand smoke.


· In 1993, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared secondhand smoke a known human carcinogen, responsible for several thousand cases of lung cancer in nonsmokers each year.
· Involuntary smoke is one of only about a dozen other environmental pollutants in this risk category [know carcinogen as opposed to possible or probable carcinogen]. Others include radon, arsenic, asbestos, and vinyl chloride.


· Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have reduced lung function.
· Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 130,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 180month of age annually, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 each year.
· Children of smoking parents have about twice as many respiratory infections, such as bronchitis or croup, as the children of nonsmokers.
· The Environmental Agency (EPA) blames involuntary smoke for causing between 8,000 and 26,000 new cases of childhood asthma a year.
· Asthma is twice as common among children exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke.
· Involuntary smoke can cause a buildup of fluid in the middle ear, the most common cause of hospitalization of children for an operation.
· The younger the child, the more vulnerable to health problems associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. Infants and young children whose parents smoke are among most seriously affected and suffer an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

Can your smoking hurt your children?

Children who are around smokers are more likely to have more:

· Asthma and allergies
· Colds and coughs
· Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
· Colic
· Ear infection
· Bronchitis and pneumonia

Children who are around smokers are sick more than other children. Cigarette smoke is a poison that can hurt their lungs.
Babies with parents who smoke get more coughs, colds, and ear infection. They cry more and get more colic. They are harder for parents to take care of. They are more likely to have to go to the hospital with pneumonia or bronchitis.
Babies with parents who smoke also are more likely to die suddenly from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Parents who smoke can cause their children to have problems with asthma or allergies. These children also have more and worse asthma attacks.

How Smoking Hurts?

Cigarette smoke has many poisons. Carbon monoxide is one poison in cigarette smoke - the same that comes out of car’s exhaust pipe. The poison in smoke build up in closed places like rooms and cars.
Many parents think that if their child is not in the same room as the smoker, the child will not breathe the smoke.
That is not true. There is no safe way to smoke indoors. No matter where in the house you smoke, your child still breathes the smoke and its poisons. The effects on your child’s health can last a lifetime.

From “Fresh Start Family” Magazine