Second Hand Smoke – Facts for Kids

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Second hand smoke is smoke that someone breathes in from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe that someone else is smoking. This means that when someone smokes at work, school, or even in public places it affects others. This includes babies, children, and teens. Smoking has over 7,000 chemicals that are toxic and that cause cancer. Most types of exposure occur in the home or in the workplace. Second hand smoke occurs in restaurants, casinos, apartments, and vehicles.

How to Avoid Second Hand Smoke?

The best way to avoid second hand smoke is to eliminate it from public places. This means that when a restaurant has a smoking and non-smoking section patrons still get second hand smoke. There are many facts about smoking for kids that adults should learn. This is because it can result in serious illness.

In children second hand smoke can cause ear infections and often severe asthma attacks. It often causes symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. When someone smokes with an infant they can die of sudden infant death syndrome. In the United States second hand smoke causes over 150,000 cases annually of bronchitis and pneumonia. It is responsible for over 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations annually.

Some important smoking facts for kids is that when pregnant women smoke fetal and placental blood flow changes. Some studies link birth defects to smoking when pregnant. Some of the defects are cleft lip or palate. Studies show that mothers that smoke produce less breast milk and their children are born under weight. These are smoking facts to know when pregnant.

Children’s lungs are developing so second hand smoke is not good for them. This smoke often aggravates conditions like sinus, common colds, coughs, and post nasal drip. Children who have parents or relatives that smoke half a pack a day or more are at risk for hospitalization more frequently than others.

Inhaled smoke irritates children’s ears. It irritates the tube that connects the nose to the middle ear. It causes swelling and problems with pressure often leading to hearing loss in children. Second hand smoke causes hearing loss in teens too. Often teens are exposed to smoking at home or with friends in school.

Finally children whose mothers smoke suffer more chance of becoming hyperactive.Second hand smoke is everywhere like cars and buses, school, child care, the mall, in homes, sporting events, parks, and playgrounds. Many teens and young adults smoke or are at risk for illness due to this habit.

Nicotine is addictive so many young people get hooked on smoking. It is poisonous. Every day young people get addicted to smoking and those around them are affected by second hand smoke.Over 740,000 teens ages 13-15 are exposed to second hand smoke around the world. When teens are around others that smoke they are likely to try it and continue to smoke. This means that youth or teens that are exposed to second hand smoke are at risk to start smoking.

Second hand smoke even affects the brain. Long term exposure to nicotine smoke leads to dependence in rats in studies. It affects receptors in the brain. Some people found a craving for nicotine after being exposed to the second hand smoke for one hour.

Protecting Children From Second Hand Smoke

What can you do to protect children from second hand smoke? If you have children do not smoke in the home or allow family, friends or babysitters to smoke inside the house. Do not enroll your child in a day care center where smoking is allowed. Choose a smoke free school and never smoke in the car. Ask friends and family not to smoke around your children.

Older teens should learn to be assertive and ask friends and adults not to smoke when they are around. Your family can decide to have a smoke free home, car, and environment. Ask friends and family to respect your decision. This means they cannot smoke in your home, car, or when with you.

Educate teens about anti-smoking facts for kids and the harm that smoking does. Encourage them not to smoke and to ask others not to smoke when they are with them. Get rid of ashtrays in the house and when someone you know wants to smoke tell them it is not allowed in your home.

Choose restaurants that don’t allow smoking but don’t patronize the restaurants that do. Remember that second hand smoke is still harmful if the business has another room. Your children can still be exposed to second hand smoke. Try to shop at stores that are smoke free and join clubs or organization that allow no smoking. The less children are exposed to second hand smoke the better.

Adults with kids should not smoke at all. Kids learn by example so you are not teaching your children good habits when smoking. If you do smoke try to quit and explain to your teen how much you hate this bad habit. Talk with kids about smoking and learn the reasons why kids smoke.

Keep Kids From Smoking

Educate children about the reality of smoking. Talk about some of the illnesses and effects of second hand smoke and smoking. Let kids realize that smoking is really not glamorous. Appeal to their vanity and tell them it causes health problems and often produces an odor.

Learn about the reasons why kids smoke so that you can appeal to your child’s common sense. Often kids smoke to be part of the crowd or to be cool. Educate them about how advertising produces false images to lure them to smoke. Remind them that smoking produces bad breath, wrinkles and an odor. Tell them some people will reject them for this very reason.

Smoking is an expensive habit. They can use their allowance or money from a job to buy things they really like like clothing, jewelry, books, CDs, and to cater to their hobbies. Teach them how to say no to friends that try to pressure them into smoking.

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