Healthy kids are active. Active kids are healthier than sedentary kids. Second-hand smoke affects the health of children and puts them at risk for the same smoking related diseases as the smokers who live with them.
Approximately 38% of Wisconsin school-aged students live in a home where at least one family member smokes. One tenth of all smoking related deaths in Wisconsin are caused by second-hand smoke. Each day in Wisconsin there is an average of 2.2 deaths related to second-hand smoke.
According to a 2010 study called The Burden of Tobacco conducted by the University of Wisconsin Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Program, the American Cancer Society, and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program, nearly 8, 000 Wisconsin residents die every year as a result of smoking related causes.
Second-hand smoke and preschoolers
According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus Ohio, young children absorb six times more nicotine than older kids who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Families.com reported that 40% of toddlers and preschoolers who were exposed to smoking in the home (and the car) had nicotine levels in their bodies that were equivalent to levels found in adult smokers. Young children exposed to second-hand smoke were reported to have blood-vessel damage and fewer vessel-repairing cells than children in non-smoking environments.
Long term consequences of second-hand smoke to preschools may be clogged arteries and heart disease later in life.
Because young children have smaller bodies and breathe at a faster rate than adults second-hand smoke is linked to the following risk factors:
- Over activity
- Shortened life span
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Trigger asthma attacks and increase severity
- Increased blood pressure
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Increased occurrence of colds
- Increased severity of common childhood illnesses
A Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study reported that even low levels of exposure to second-hand smoke is associated with decreases in cognitive skills including reading, math, and logic and reasoning.
Middle and high school students
In a 2010 Wisconsin smoking statistics study published by the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention & Control Program, 38.1% of middle and high school students reported lived in homes where family members smoke and 47.1% had recently been in a room or car with someone who was smoking. Over 92% of middle school students believed that smoke from other people’s cigarettes is harmful to them.
A valentine’s gift to your child:
- Provide smoke free air for the children in your life
- Choose not to smoke in homes where children are present.
- If you cannot give up smoking in your home, designate a smoking area away from children and the toys and furniture where children sit and lie down. Keep the door to the smoking room closed and a window cracked or open when smoking.
- Don’t smoke in the car when a child is a passenger
- Share second-hand smoking facts with relatives and friends who smoke in the presence of children
Give a gift of smoke-free air, health, and positive examples to children this year on Valentine’s Day.
Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention & Control Program
Second hand smoke exposure raises kid’s blood pressure
Smoking cessation linked to happiness, elevated moods
Third hand smoke – risk to infants and children
Second-hand smoke and children
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