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Just how dangerous is second-hand smoke?

During the summer months, many parents express frustration when they see other parents smoking around their kids in public places like amusement parks. While smoking has indeed become less common in recent years, an estimated 36.5 million Americans still smoked in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 1 in 5 children are exposed to second-hand smoke at home, and 41,000 people died from exposure to second hand smoke in 2015, according to the CDC.

Kids exposed to second-hand smoke experience may experience these health problems:

•             Breathing problems like coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath

•             Ear infections

•             More frequent and severe asthma attacks

•             Respiratory infections like bronchitis or pneumonia

In the long-term adults whose parents smoked around them as children are:

•             At higher risk of developing lung cancer and heart disease

•             More likely to become smokers

Even smoking in another room or on the patio can double your child’s risk of developing heart disease as an adult. The best thing parents can do is not smoke or quit smoking.

If you’re a nonsmoker, follow these tips to protect your kids from second-hand smoke:

•             Do not allow anyone to smoke in or near your home

•             Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car

•             Ensure your child’s daycare and/or school are tobacco-free

•             Teach your child to stay away from people smoking

If you’re ready to quit smoking, get support from Adventist HealthCare’s tobacco cessation program. We offer many free resources to support your healthy choice.

Find more tips from Nurse Rose here: www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose.

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