Passive smoking also referred as second hand smoking is inhaling cigarette smoke from a smoker. It is as dangerous as the actual smoking itself as the harmful substances contained in the tobacco cigarettes are released into the air which you inhale. The carbon dioxide plus other harmful substances gets their way through to your body making you equal with the real smoker. Health organizations have been demanding strong measures to be put in place so as to protect second hand smokers. They campaign for smoke free shopping centers, sport facilities, restaurants, public transport, playgrounds and schools just to mention a few. All non smokers including children have their health rights which must be observed.
Smoking around your children puts their health in danger. Tobacco smoke is known to be the most harmful interior pollutant. Young children cannot make a choice on whether to inhale or not as they get the smoke involuntarily. Second hand smoking causes similar health effects as actual smoking. Furthermore, studies show that second hand smoking is even more dangerous than real smoking. Children have greater health risks than grownups as they are more sensitive and their bodies have not fully developed. According to a research conducted by Cincinnati Children Hospital in Ohio, passive smoking reduces the children’s IQ. It just requires a parent to be a smoker; even if he or she takes less than one pack in a day, the effect will still be the same.
Second hand smoking can affect a child’s lungs making them unable to function properly. Children who are exposed to second hand smoking suffer respiratory diseases like cough, rhinitis, common cold, phlegm, asthma, breath shortage bronchitis and pneumonia. They can also have infections in the middle ear. There are also other risks such as:
- Recurrence of asthma attacks
- Sudden death syndrome
- There may be development of provocative bowel conditions.
- Lung cancer
- Reduced birth weight
- Dental decay
Children who are exposed to the cigarette smoke at home may develop cough, asthma, dizziness, poor concentration and headache. Also, sleep disturbances triple making the child unable to sleep comfortably.
The more you continue to smoke at home, the more you expose your children to the health risks. There are those who think that opening windows in the house or car will reduce the effect on children but this does not. Even inhaling the cigarette outside the house will not provide any safety insurance. The only noble way to protect them is completely quitting smoking. This will ensure your child is safe. Children also get affected directly when their parents get sick or die due to smoking complications. This has a negative impact on their growth and they may be unable to concentrate in their school work or in other activities. This psychological problem will have great impact in their future lives. So, quitting smoking is the only solution to help the children have a health and a good beginning.