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Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)

shutterstock_84191098The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 43% of children between the ages of 2 months to 11 years old live in a home where at least one family member smokes tobacco. ETS, more commonly called "secondhand smoke" is a complex mixture of thousands of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, nicotine tars, formaldehyde and cyanide. Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic to humans. Children are especially involuntarily exposed to these toxins.1

Children living in homes with smokers exhibit more illnesses such as, bronchitis, pneumonia, and respiratory and ear infections. They also experience greater symptoms associated with asthma. Additionally, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is linked to women who smoked either during pregnancy or around their infants.1

When children become adults they may be more susceptible to the development of lung cancer, heart disease and cataracts if they were exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke as children.

Respiratory illnesses increase by 50% in children under 2 years old who live with a smoking parent or guardian. In addition, asthma is more prevalent in children who have a smoker in the family.1

Fact: Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to children. It causes 300,000 cases of pneumonia and bronchitis in children every year. These children are also more likely to get colds, allergies, asthma and ear infections. And babies of parents who smoke are twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).2




1 Second-Hand Smoke and Children – WHO

2 Americans for Nonsmokers Rights

Last updated 6-10-2016

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