How Secondhand Smoke Affects Children

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Smoking is bad for you – this should come as no surprise. From packaging warnings to advertising campaigns, we often see and hear about the implications smoking has on those who smoke. What is less widely known are the effects of secondhand smoke – especially to children.

Secondhand smoke is the mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and smoke exhaled by the smoker. It is extremely harmful to the developing lungs and weaker immune systems of kids. By smoking around your young children or while pregnant, you could increase their risk of developing an illness that requires hospitalization by more than 56 percent. Not to mention the possibility of decreased lung efficiency, impaired lung functionality and more frequent and severe asthma episodes.

Approximately 60 percent of U.S. children ages 3-11 are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, so it’s important to understand the health risks. Check out the following statistics and facts to learn more about how secondhand smoke affects kids.

Tobacco use has been on the decline since the Surgeon General’s 1964 Report on Smoking and Health; however, secondhand smoke still takes about 54,000 lives each year.

While you can’t control your child’s exposure to secondhand smoke outside of the house, you can make a difference at home. For help kicking the habit, learn more about our smoking cessation services and find a specialist near you.

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