The risk of second hand smoke to children

Children are more at risk from secondhand smoke. This is because they breathe more rapidly, and their lungs, airways and immune system are still developing.

Secondhand smoke can increase a child’s risk of:

  • ear infections
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • meningitis
  • cancer
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia

Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).

Children who grow up seeing their parents smoke are also 3 times more likely to smoke when they grow up.

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