Facts About Kids And Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, and many of them can cause cancer and other serious diseases. But did you know that children are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke?

Protect The Children Around You

Never smoke anywhere that children may be present, especially homes, restaurants, vehicles and other indoor or enclosed spaces. Advise friends, relatives and caregivers not to smoke around your child, and help your child steer clear of smoky areas.

Secondhand smoke spreads quickly throughout an entire house or building. So using fans or smoking by a window will not keep children safe. There’s no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Remember, young children can’t protect themselves against secondhand smoke. It’s up to us!

Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems even before a child is born.

  • Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birthweight babies.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause lasting or permanent damage to the developing lungs of unborn and newborn children.

Young children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke.

  • Because their bodies are developing rapidly, infants and young children are more vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.
  • Children take in more secondhand smoke because they breathe more rapidly than adults.
  • Young children often cannot remove themselves from areas where secondhand smoke is present.

Smoking can cause serious health problems in children.

  • Secondhand smoke causes respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children.
  • Exposure causes children with asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for ear infections.