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Effect of Second Hand Smoke on Children

Second-hand smoking, or ‘passive smoking’, is the exposure of a person to cigarette smoke without actually smoking, but through others’ smoke. Second-hand smoking is also a dangerous thing because it has the same chances to cause effects which are caused by direct smoking, such as cancer and asthma. Children are very sensitive to such smoke and hence it is very necessary to take precautions so that children are not exposed to second-hand smoke, even by mistake.

Maternal smoking (i.e. smoking when pregnant) will have adverse effects on the unborn babies and sometimes it can also result in the death of the fetus.  When a pregnant woman smokes cigarettes, there are more chances that her babies will be born smaller and a lower weight than they should be. This can lead to many problems, including death. Babies exposed to smoke will also have increased risk of cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. Organs and organ systems of children will be more delicate in that they can’t offer as much resistance to harmful diseases. For instance, children who are exposed to second-hand smoke will have more chances of developing asthma and other breathing related problems. When exposed for longer periods, children may also have increased chances of getting lung cancer. Other diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis are reported to be more common in children who are exposed to second-hand smoke, when compared to children who aren’t exposed to adults smoking around them. Cigarette smoke can irritate the Eustachian tube and the result is that the children have more risks of middle ear infections.

Children will have more risks of exposure to second-hand smoke because they can’t demand them to stop smoking in their surroundings. Also, when parents are smokers there are more risks for children. For ninety percent of those children who are exposed to second-hand, smoke comes from their smoking parents. Children will get exposed to passive smoking when they are in house, while in car, or in any other private places. Air filled with second-hand smoke is not suitable for inhaling because it will have toxins and is unsafe for anyone, particularly kids. According to recent scientific researches, second-hand smoke will contain 250 poisonous chemical components and 70 carcinogenic components.

Another important consequence of second-hand smoke on children is that the child may become acquainted to the smell and smoke of the cigarettes, and might become smoke addict in the future. This will make him/her more vulnerable for indirect and direct effects of smoking. Keeping all these facts in mind, it is better on the part of smokers to avoid smoking when any one is surrounding them, particularly when surrounded by children. 

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