The Truth About Secondhand Smoke

The Truth About Secondhand SmokeSecondhand smoke can pose health risks – that’s a fact! New studies have confirmed that a behavioral risk is greatest among children exposed both in the womb and at a very young age. A study conducted in France on more than 5,200 primary school students found that those that were exposed to secondhand smoke while in the womb or at a young age were at a higher risk for behavioral problems. Why is this important information for those who smoke? So they can learn that there are bad effects on health and that disorders in their children can result if they don’t stop.

No-Smoking Laws and Leases
It is no new information that there are laws in place against smoking in certain places. Over the years, smoking in public resulted in penalties and more restaurants popped up where it was made illegal. In other places, like apartments, there are no-smoking leases. If you live in an apartment and somebody in the immediate area is smoking, you can find out if the rental agreement contains a no-smoking clause, as they are becoming much more common. You may be able to convince a landlord to enforce a clause and eventually get a neighbor evicted if they don’t follow the rules set in place.

Cigarette smoking may be troublesome and interfere with your ability to enjoy living in your apartment. There is a legal principle known as “quiet enjoyment” that gives a tenant the right to occupy an apartment in peace. If you have a child or children living in your apartment, this makes things a bigger deal as well. It is your right to speak to your landlord at any time about these issues.

How Dangerous is Secondhand Smoke?
Secondhand Smoke is not safe in any amount, especially to children. It can contain over 7,000 harmful chemicals, with at least 250 of those being known to damage your health. Breathing secondhand smoke for even the shortest amount of time can hurt you. It can cause cancer, heart disease, and all kinds of breathing problems. Some serious health effects in children include SIDS, premature or smaller babies, weak lungs, severe asthma, and even ear infections!

So how do you protect your loved ones from secondhand smoke? The best thing to do is to actually stop smoking. You can make sure that your house and your car remain smoke free. Don’t be afraid to set “smoke free rules” for around the house or in the vehicle, where children will be at any given time. By following these rules, you can lower the chance of your child developing issues or becoming a smoker themselves.

What Can You Do to Protect You and Your Loved Ones?
You can take preventative measures to protect you and your loved ones from the damaging effects of secondhand smoke. Here are some useful tips to take into consideration:

  • Quit smoking if you are not already a nonsmoker.
  • Make sure that your children’s day care center and schools are tobacco-free.
  • Seek out restaurants and other public places that don’t allow smoking.
  • Teach your children to stray from secondhand smoke.
  • Be a good role model.


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