Cigarette smoke has long been known to cause many different problems. Lung Cancer, Asthma, and Emphysema are just a few of those problems. Many mistakenly believe that if they only smoke outside, away from their children and never in the home, that the effects will go away. This is simply not the case. The side effects from second-hand smoke can still be serious even if you think you are being careful. The cigarette smoke remains on your clothing, in your hair, and even on your skin. There is no way to completely avoid cigarette smoke from remaining on you if you smoke.
Children who have Asthma, GERD, Acid Reflux, Lung Cancer, Emphysema, and other disorders are especially at risk, In fact, just by being a smoking parent, you may have unintentionally caused the disorder. Children who suffer from these symptoms should not be exposed to further cigarette smoke. It can worsen the symptoms and effects of these disorders.
As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. While it is not a parent’s fault for causing these disorders because of being uneducated, a parent who does know these facts is wrong for continuing to smoke.
Parental smoking is a leading preventable cause for Asthma and many other childhood diseases and conditions.
As stated above, even if you take all the necessary precautions, you are still carrying the smoke wherever you go. When you hug your child or even sit in the same room as your child, you are emitting harmful chemicals. These chemicals remain on clothing and in hair as long as you continue to smoke and for months after you quit.
These toxins, known as environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS, can be re-suspended and can also react vapor-phase components, causing the smoke to be inhaled over and over again. This can be very detrimental to a person’s health, especially that of a child. A child’s body is much more sensitive than that of an adult.
ETS exposure to children (even in small amounts) has been linked to SIDS, ADHD, poor cognitive performance in school, reduction of IQ scores, asthma, lung cancer, other cancers, mental retardation, numerous behavioral disorders, GERD, and many other diseases and disorders. When studies were done, the amount of exposure was taken into consideration and children who were only exposed to a minimal amount of ETS were still affected.
What can you do now, if you have already exposed your child to this potentially deadly substance? The best thing you can do for your child and yourself is to quit. It is never too late to stop. Quitting cigarette smoking can greatly improve your health as well as the health of your child. When you quit, be sure to thoroughly clean and decontaminate all clothing, furniture, walls, and every item in your house. Even if you always smoked outside, remember that ETS lingers on you, re-vaporizes into the air, and deposits on surfaces. It continues to re-vaporize itself, so it is imperative that a thorough cleaning be done to get rid of the chemicals and toxins.
According to the CEHCs (Children’s Environmental Health Centers), 43 percent of U.S. children are exposed to ETS in their own homes. However, there is hope. By visiting the EPA website, parents can learn how to create a smoke-free home. Even parents who don’t smoke should reference the links below to find out how to avoid exposure to ETS for their children, as well as themselves.
http://es.epa.gov/ncer/childrenscenters/smoke.html Children’s Environmental Health Centers
http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/index.html EPA Smoke-free homes program