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. But chances are 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 smoking
is highly addictive. But there
are many support groups and tobacco-free programs can help people stop. You also can
find information and help online at: