And kids who grow up in a home where parents smoke are more likely to become smokers too.
How Can Parents Protect Kids From Secondhand Smoke?
There are fewer smokers now than in years past. Chances are, though, that someone in your family or someone you know still smokes. But it's never healthy for kids to breathe in tobacco smoke. Even occasional or brief exposures can take a toll on the body.
These two rules can help protect your kids (and yourself!) from secondhand smoke:
No smoking inside the house: Smokers should go outside, away from other people, especially kids and pregnant women. Smoke lingers in the air hours after cigarettes are put out. So even if someone smokes in a room alone, other people will eventually inhale that smoke too.
Smoke also sticks to people and their clothing, furniture, toys, and carpets. This "thirdhand smoke" can't be easily washed away with soap and water. Kids who touch surfaces with thirdhand smoke on them will absorb the dangerous chemicals through their skin and breathe them into their lungs. Smokers should wash their hands and change their clothes after a smoke before they hold or hug children.
No smoking in a car with other people: Even blowing smoke out the window does little, if anything, to reduce smoke exposure.
Also, don't hesitate to speak up if someone smokes near your child. Politely ask the person not to, but be ready to move away from the smoker if things get uncomfortable.
If you smoke, try to quit. If you have other smokers in the family, offer support and encouragement to help them kick the habit. Quitting isn't easy because nicotine is highly addictive. But there are many support groups and tobacco-free programs that can help people stop.