Tobacco Exposure in Children

Keep your children safe, keep them in a smoke-free environment!

According to the CDC, about 4 in 10 children in the United States between the ages of 3-11 years old are exposed to harmful second hand smoke. A majority of smoke exposure is in the home. Smoking in front of a window, in a different room, or using fans do NOT prevent second hand smoke exposure. There is no safe level of second hand smoke for children; any passive exposure can contribute to morbidity and mortality. During pregnancy, passive exposure can lead to preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), mortality, and respiratory disease. Second-hand exposure in children can lead to respiratory illness, heart disease, tooth decay, ear aches, sleep problems, developmental delays and difficulty in school.

Tobacco exposure does not just come from traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes or “vaping” is the current trend often used by teens and young adults. These devices still expose the body to harmful substances such as addictive nicotine, heavy metals, unstable organic compounds and fine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs. Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions and can result in serious injury.

According to the AAP, children who grow up with smokers are more likely to smoke themselves, further increasing their risk of disease. One of the most important things you can do for your children is keep them in a smoke-free environment!

Teach your teens the harms of smoking and make every effort to avoid second/third hand smoke.



Hwang, S.-H., Hwang, J. H., Moon, J. S., & Lee, D.-H. (2012). Environmental tobacco smoke and children’s health. Korean Journal of Pediatrics, 55(2), 35–41.

Smoking & Tobacco Use. (2018, February 28). Retrieved from

Smoking & Tobacco Use. (2018, November 06). Retrieved from

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