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Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is the smoke from a burning cigarette as well as the smoke breathed out by smokers. It contains over 7000 chemicals, and around 70 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Not only can secondhand smoke exposure cause cancer, it can also lead to other health problems especially in infants and children. Some of these conditions include severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and it can even increase the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS).

Studies show that children whose parents smoke do get sick more often. The growth of their lungs is impacted by secondhand smoke. These children get bronchitis and pneumonia more often than children who are not exposed to secondhand smoke. Wheezing is seen more often in children who are exposed to secondhand smoke, and children with asthma have more frequent and more severe asthma attacks. Ear infections are also seen much more frequently in children whose parents smoke. These children are more likely to have fluid in their ears which may cause hearing loss, repeated ear infections and may lead to the need for ear tubes.

Protect your children from secondhand smoke. Take the following actions:

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your children. 
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home or car. 
  • Use a smoke free daycare. 
  • Do not take your children to public places that allow smoking. 
  • Teach your children to stay away from second hand smoke.

In conclusion, remember that for every person who dies from a tobacco related disease there are 20 more people affected by chronic disease. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke and would like to quit, speak to your health care provider or get more information at:

Submitted by Debbie King on behalf of PAMPA

Information taken from:



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PAMPA is a pediatric medical practice in north Atlanta, Georgia consisting of twelve pediatricians, five nurses,
and four locations in Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta, and Marietta. area.
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