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By: Dr. Muna Al-Kilani – Pediatrician
When a woman quits smoking during pregnancy her chances of having an uncomplicated pregnancy and a healthy baby are dramatically increased. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, fetal death, low weight babies and birth defects.
The scientific evidence is now indisputable; that Second-hand smoking is not only a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that leads to disease, in adult and kids. It may also cause premature death in children and Coronary Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Cancer in nonsmoking adults.
In addition, second-hand smoke is toxic; it contains more than 4000 chemicals, in which More than 50 chemicals are cancer causing. Children exposed to second-hand smoke before the age of 25 have a higher cancer risk than those exposed to smoke after age 25.
We can summarize second-hand smoke effects on kids in two main ways:
- Short term effects
Second-hand smoking causes respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, triggers asthma attacks, increase the risk of ear infections, and tooth decay.
- Long-term effects
increased incidence of sudden infant death syndrome SIDS, increased incidence of asthma, possible problems with cognitive functioning and behavioral problems, and the children are more likely to become smokers as adults.
Adults who are exposed to smoke are more likely to have Cancer (Increase by20-30%), Coronary Heart Disease (increase by 25-30%) and Acute Respiratory Problems.
Despite marketing claims, no ventilation system can protect from the death and disease caused by exposure to second-hand smoke and there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Julius B Richmond Center of Excellence, smoking cessation.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006
- 482008 Jul;61(1):13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2007.11.013. Epub 2008 Jan 8. Second-hand smoke, age of exposure and lung cancer risk.
- Asomaning K1, Miller DP, Liu G, Wain JC, Lynch TJ, Su L, Christiani DC.
** The Source for the main picture is: goce risteski – Fotolia.com