Smoking has been proven scientifically that it can cause many health factors such as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and many more. Despite this knowledge that has been passed on through generations of how many health concerns smoking leads to, people continue to smoke themselves, or around other people. Smoking causes danger to one’s health but now with further research there is now evidence suggesting smoking can cause problems for those around you.
There is evidence everywhere proving how bad smoking is to one’s health, but how about the loved ones that surround you? Children are known to be more prone to diseases and illnesses than adults. At such a young age where the body is developing and preparing itself for the future, when exposed to these harmful contaminants it can cause serious damage to them. Children that are exposed to secondhand smoke tend to have more ear infections, coughs and colds, respiratory problems, tooth decay and much more. In the case where a child is diagnosed with asthma, the smoke that is being puffed into the air can become a trigger to it. Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airway becomes inflamed making it difficult for them to breathe. When a child with asthma breathes in secondhand smoke it leads to more asthma attacks, and can cause the attacks to be much more severe. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) secondhand smoke causes, “acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children.” Secondhand smoke is exposed in many places, parks, beaches, schools, and playgrounds. These are all environments in which children thrive and play.
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Secondhand smoke can also have long-term risks to children. The act of public smoking poses a threat since it also sends a message to the children that watch. People learn the most starting at a young age, when exposed to those that smoke in public they can learn that smoking might be okay. According to an article by Ronald Bayer and Kathleen E. Bachynski, “By challenging the perception of smoking a normal adult behavior, smokefree policies can change the attitudes and behaviors of adolescents, resulting in a reduction in tobacco use initiation” (HealthAffairs). The exposure of tobacco use at a young age can influence adolescents to act at an early age. This can possible cause children to learn that it may be fine to smoke since adults are doing it. Due to this reasoning children can act upon this mindset and smoke at an early age which can damage their developing bodies. These children are too young, therefore do not possess the necessary knowledge to realize that these actions are in fact harmful and could possibly kill them.
Areas where children reside may also implicate that there are parents around, and in some cases pregnant mothers. When a mother breathes in secondhand smoke it also affects the baby inside her stomach. Mothers exposed to secondhand smoke can have many risks. Stated in an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “when you’re pregnant, your baby is exposed to harmful chemicals which cause miscarriage, premature birth, lower birth weight (which could mean a less healthier baby), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and learning problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
According to information from The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation database there are already some laws that were implemented, therefore prohibiting smoking in children’s play areas.
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