Secondhand Smoke Risks

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Recent studies are finding that there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke. And health risks are increased for children who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these health risks in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

It is estimated that almost 60 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 3 and 11or almost 22 million childrenare exposed to secondhand smoke.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome. The children are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.

Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs. This increases the risk for many health problems.

Among infants and children, secondhand smoke causes bronchitis and pneumonia, and increases the risk of ear infections.

Secondhand smoke exposure can cause children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.

If you are a smoker, consider limiting the amount of secondhand smoke your children are exposed to and allow your kids to breathe easy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.