It is always in the news. Tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars, pipes) is not only harmful to you, but to the people around you. This includes your children as well, before birth and after. A pregnant woman who smokes, increases the chance that their baby will be smaller than expected at birth and may be born prematurely. Babies and children exposed to tobacco smoke have a greater risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), respiratory infections, ear infections, and asthma.
Babies and children are frequently exposed to tobacco smoke in their homes, in cars, and in childcare. Many parents think that they do not smoke around their children because they smoke outside, but they are wrong. If a person smells like tobacco smoke, then it means that the tobacco smoke can be inhaled because it can be smelled. Unless a parent showers and changes their clothing before coming inside, they are still smoking around their children.
What Can You Do?
- If family members smoke, encourage them to quit. We know it is not easy, but there is plenty of help through programs and medications. Contact NYSmokeFree.com or 1-866-NY-QUITS.
- Do not allow smoking in your home, around your yard, or in your car. Remove all ashtrays.
- Strongly discourage your child and teenager from smoking. It is easier if you provide the example by stopping yourself.