Children and Second Hand Smoke

Tyra White Period 6

Thesis: Approximately 11% of children under the age of six years old are exposed to second hand smoke on a regular basis. Although the problem doesn’t seem severe, second

hand smoke can affect a child in ways that can not only affect their lives temporarily, but can cause them to

suffer for a lifetime.

Not only are children influenced by media, but they are also greatly affected by the actions of those around them. Actions made by a parent, such as smoking, can do a lot of harm psychologically and physically on a child. One main poison that is taken in by the child is second hand smoke. The definition of second hand smoke is

“Environmental tobacco smoke that is inhaled involuntary or passively by someone who is not smoking” (MedicineNet Inc). Although this may sound harmless, the inhalation of second hand smoke can have a negative impact on the body,

especially that of a child.

Unfortunately the effects of second hand smoke on a child are more severe than they would be for an adult. Children are more vulnerable because they are still

physically growing, they have higher breathing rates, and have little control over indoor environments (U.S. EPA).

These factors, set aside from the dangers of the second hand smoke itself, put children at a higher risk of

fatality once inhaling too much second hand smoke.

Second substances, (U.S. EPA). smoke are

hand many

smoke in which

contains are

over for

four

thousand cancer

known

causing

The deaths of non smokers from second hand currently on the rise. Approximately three

thousand non smokers die of lung cancer yearly, due to the effects of second hand smoke. This number includes

children. Although it isn’t likely that children develop heart disease, it can still be produced over time, if the child regularly inhales the toxins in second hand smoke.

There probably

are aren’t

other

effects

of

second fatal,

hand but

smoke

that as

considered

as

are

just

serious and can cause long term damage to a child. Second hand smoke can cause asthma in on a the child that hadn’t Young

previously

displayed

symptoms

illness.

infants are also greatly impacted. Second hand smoke can cause respiratory infections such as bronchitis and

pneumonia.

Over exposure to second hand smoke also puts

children and infants at risk of middle ear disease (U.S. EPA).

Second hand smoke can affect a young child, but it can also cause children to die premature deaths, and in some cases, before they leave their mother’s womb (American Lung Association). An expecting mother that inhales second hand smoke regularly can kill the child before they are fully developed. the most Again, babies and young children especially are vulnerable, and mainly their because immune they are dependent, strong

under

developed,

systems

aren’t

enough to battle the many toxins present in second hand smoke.

Although

professionals

are

doing

what

they

can

in

order to find vaccines and prescription drugs to cure or ease the health defects caused by second hand smoke, it is the responsibility of adults to be more courteous, so maybe that infant won’t die of pneumonia, or that child next door won’t die of a severe asthma attack. In the end, it is left up to parents to watch their children, and be aware of surroundings. This also means that parent have to learn to lead by example and not smoke in the presence of children (American Lung Association).

An ear infection may not seem like such a “big deal” but one must keep in mind, the effects of second hand smoke

on children can be more severe and even fatal, and can last a lifetime.

Works Cited
Second Hand Smoke definition-Medical dictionary of popular medical terms. 2007 MedicineNet Inc. March 18 2007. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13423

Health Effects of Exposure to Second Hand Smoke. 2007 United States Environmental Protection Agency. March 18, 2007. http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/healtheffects.html#Serious%20H ealth%20Risks%20to%20Children

Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet. 2007 American Lung Association. March 18, 2007. http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35422

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