Clearing the Air: Parental Smoking is a Serious Health Hazard for Children

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 39% of U.S. households with one or more children age 6 or younger have at least one smoker.

If you smoke and find it hard to stop, bear in mind that the research is conclusive:

Parental smoking is a serious health hazard for children.

Children who live in homes with smokers inhale cigarette smoke. As a result, they run a higher risk of developing asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections. These children also have more difficulty getting over colds.

Of the 4,000-plus chemicals in environmental tobacco smoke, at least forty are know to cause cancer.

Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:

  • If you would like to quit smoking but you have been unable to, contact your physician.
  • If your spouse or another member of your household is a smoker, provide him or her with support to quit.
  • If you or other members of your household are not able to give up cigarettes, do not smoke in the house.
  • By no means should anyone smoke in an automobile in which children are riding.


Adapted from the “Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12″
© American Academy of Pediatrics, Bantam Books, 1995