Second-hand smoke comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe and the smoke that a smoker exhales. The smoke contains nicotine and many other harmful chemicals. Breathing second-hand smoke can cause or worsen health problems including cancer, asthma, coronary artery disease, and respiratory infections. It can make your eyes and nose burn and cause a sore throat.
Second-hand smoke is especially bad for babies and young children whose lungs are still developing. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to have ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis in the first few years of their lives. Second-hand smoke can make asthma symptoms worse in children.
If you are pregnant, it is important that you not smoke and that you avoid second-hand smoke. You are more likely to give birth to a baby who weighs less than expected (low birth weight) if you smoke. And your baby may have a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies whose mothers are exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk for health problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: November 29, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine
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