Smoking: Health Risk for Family Members

Topic Overview

If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (second-hand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk.

  • Because of second-hand smoke, spouses and children of people who smoke have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Babies whose parents smoke:
    • Are more likely to have ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis in the first few years of their lives.
    • Have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Children of people who smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves.

The good news is that you can change this! When you quit smoking, you reduce all of these risks for health problems in your family. You also increase the chance that your children will not smoke or will quit if they already smoke. So if you've ever thought about quitting, now you have one more good reason—for your family's and your friends' health.

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 26, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
John R. Hughes, MD - Addiction Psychiatry
Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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