Regional Cancer Center ~ Erie, PA

Second Hand Smoke & Children

Oct 24, 2013 | Posted in Step 1: Are You Ready To Quit?

Each year, exposure to second-hand smoke causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in U.S. infants and children younger than 18 months of age. These infections result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations every year. Chronic cough, wheezing, and phlegm are more frequent in children whose parents smoke. Children exposed to second-hand smoke at home are more likely to have middle-ear disease and reduced lung function. Second-hand smoke increases the number of asthma attacks and the severity of asthma in children who already have the disease. Even worse, second-hand smoke can cause healthy children to develop asthma. A recent study found that infants are three times more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) if their mothers smoke during and after pregnancy. Infants are twice as likely to die from SIDS if their mothers stop smoking during pregnancy and then resume smoking following birth.

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