Second Hand Smoke

Dear Dr. B: I have a friend who smokes outside her house around her two little children. Isn’t it bad to smoke in the presence of children whether it is indoors or outdoors?

Yes, smoking in the presence of children is bad – whether it is indoors or outdoors. A study carried out by Swedish researchers shows children of smokers have nicotine in their bodies, even if their parents smoke outdoors.

The Medical Post reports that the Swedish researchers studied 366 children age two to three years whose parents smoked. The parents of 216 of the children always smoked outside with doors and windows closed.

The researchers found that theses children had twice as much nicotine in their body as children of non-smokers. If both parents smoked indoors, children had 15 times higher levels than children of non-smokers.

Another study has shown that there is a correlation between passive smoking and respiratory illness (cough, wheezing etc.) in children.

Everyone knows the dangers of smoking. If you are a smoker or if you know somebody who smokes then give them the following ten reasons why one should give up on smoking:

1. Albertans smoke more than the national average.

2. In 2000-2001, 683,900 Albertans were smokers.

3. Tobacco causes one in five deaths in Alberta.

4. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness, disability and death in Alberta and Canada.

5. Tobacco is the cause of an average of 3,400 premature deaths each year in Alberta.

6. Smokers have two to four times the risk of heart attack and sudden death from coronary artery disease than non-smokers.

7. Smoking around children can negatively impact their health.

8. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and health problems in infancy and later on.

9. Exposure to second-hand smoke can increase non-smokers’ likelihood of developing asthma, heart disease and lung cancer and

10. Nicotine is addictive.

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