You know the risks to your own health already (you see them on the packet every time you take out a cigarette). However, did you know of the effects that smoking can have on your kids?
Your kids are 4 times more likely to become smokers
Research by the Better Health Smoke Free Campaign in 2021 showed that children of smokers are four times more likely to become smokers themselves.
The dangers of secondhand smoke
Children of smokers are not safe from the effects of cigarettes. Secondhand smoke contains around 4,000 chemicals, over 50 of which are known to cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke exposure for pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or sudden infant death syndrome. For children exposed to secondhand smoke, they can develop more respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia, and struggle to get over colds and coughs.
The long-term effects of secondhand smoke in children include poor lung development, lung cancer and even heart disease.
Secondhand smoke is everywhere
Even if you don’t smoke directly around your kids, they can still be harmed by smoking. The American Academy of Paediatrics found that thirdhand smoke- the harmful toxins left behind where people have smoked- are found on walls, textiles, seats and even hair. Children who touch those surfaces- by crawling on a carpet containing thirdhand smoke, for example- may have their health affected by exposure.
The effects of smoking are hard to limit
Unfortunately, even if you smoke by an open window, use a fan or are in a different room to your children, it will not prevent the effects of secondhand smoke exposure.
E-cigarettes are not safe
E-cigarette vapour also contains chemicals harmful to children. Cases of EVALI (E-cigarette use or vaping- associated lung injury) are on the rise. Most cases involve chest pain, cough and shortness of breath. Some children are even needing hospital treatment because of the harmful chemicals that vapes contain.