Passive Smoking – An Active Risk to Kids
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
by Lauren Rogoff
There are myriad reasons why smoking is hazardous to your health, Auntie, including heart disease, lung cancer, cancers of the head and neck (mouth, esophagus), digestive tract (stomach, liver) and urinary tract (kidney, bladder) and even cervical cancer. Smoking also damages your skin, contributing to premature aging and, dull skin and wrinkles.
If the ill effects of smoking on your own health weren’t enough of a deterrent, however, think about the health of your nieces and nephews. Many recent studies have proven that the effects of exposure to secondhand smoke can be as dangerous as smoking. Exposure to secondhand smoke is especially hazardous for children. Secondhand smoke has been linked to lung cancer, childhood leukemia and cancers of the larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), brain, bladder, rectum, stomach, and breast. Secondhand smoke can even endanger your niece and nephew before they are born, causing premature birth, low birth weight, and a variety of birth defects in pregnant women.
One recent study has found that children exposed to second-hand smoke had almost double the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as adults, when compared with children who were not exposed. COPD makes breathing difficult and has no cure. Secondhand smoke also worsens asthma and creates respiratory problems in hundreds of thousands of children every year.
So, Auntie, set a good example for your nieces and nephews, and keep them safe at the same time – stay away from smoking!
Published: March 26, 2012