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Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

What is Secondhand Smoke?

  • Secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke is the smoke that a smoker breathes out from smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. The tobacco is a dangerous chemical that can cause cancer. Children are exposed to these harmful chemicals whenever they breathe in secondhand smoke.
  • Causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and tens of thousands of deaths from heart disease to nonsmoking adults per year in the U.S.
  • Secondhand smoke is everywhere so be extremely cautious when you go out in public.

Smoking during Pregnancy

  • Smoking while you’re pregnant is not good because your baby is exposed to harmful chemicals.
  • May lead to serious health problems since your baby is still developing inside your womb. These health problems include; miscarriages, premature birth, lower expected birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and ADHD.
  • The baby’s health is at a higher risk factor if mom continues to smoke and the amount that is smoked.
  • It helps to quite at any time during pregnancy and all pregnant women should stay away from secondhand smoke.

Your Child’s Health

  • Children who are younger than two years of age have a higher risk factor of developing serious health problems.
  • Children who breath in secondhand smoke can have frequent ear infections, upper respiratory infections (UTI), bronchitis, pneumonia, tooth decay, lung cancer, heart disease, and cataracts (eye disease).
  • Children with asthma are extremely sensitive to secondhand smoke which causes them to have more asthma attacks and frequent trips to the hospital.

Create a Smoke Free Environment

  • Set an example. If you smoke then try to quite today or as soon as possible. Remember that if your children see you smoking then they may want to try it and grow up to become smokers.
  • Make your home and car a smoke free environment by not smoking around your children in the house or car. It’s best to quit all together.
  • Stay away from places where there are other smokers around. Eat at nonsmoking sections in public areas and at restaurants.
  • Ask visitors not to smoke inside your home or car.
  • Choose babysitters or caregivers who do not smoke. If they do smoke, then ask them not to smoke while he/she is caring for your children.
  • Encourage smoke free child care and schools where your children attend. Get involved by making the facility a smoke free zone.

Parents who smoke should quit right away for their health and the health of their children. For more information contact the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, or the American Cancer Society to learn about support groups and resources in your area.


Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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