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Smoking: Health Risk for Family Members

Overview

Most people know that smoking is not good for their health. But smoke from your cigarettes (second-hand smoke) also puts people around you at risk.

  • Because of second-hand smoke, people who spend time with those who smoke have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Children of people who smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves.
  • Children who breathe second-hand smoke:
    • Are more likely to have ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis in the first few years of life.
    • Have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

But you can change this. When you quit smoking, you reduce all of these risks for health problems in your family. You also increase the chance that your children will not smoke or will quit if they already smoke. So if you've ever thought about quitting, now you have one more good reason—for your family's and your friends' health.

Second-hand aerosol from vapes does not contain as much nicotine and other harmful chemicals as second-hand tobacco smoke does. But there is a concern about possible health risks from second-hand aerosol exposure.

Credits

Current as of: March 22, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine

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