Second-hand smoke and children.

Essay by Shanna47College, UndergraduateB, December 2002

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Second-Hand Smoke and Children

Billions of people around the world smoke cigarettes each day. Many of these people have children, yet they fail to stop smoking around them. Also, many pregnant women continue to smoke despite the fact that they are passing the nicotine onto the unborn fetus. Many people do not realize the negative affects of second-hand smoke, however, others know these dangers, and they simply fail to do anything about it. Not only are they harming their own health, they are also harming their children's or unborn child's health as well. Some people do not agree with this, however, statistics prove them wrong.

I do not particularly like smokers to begin with, however, my parents both smoke. Neither of them believes that there is anything wrong with second-hand smoke, however, I realize these negative affects. Second-hand smoke contains up to 4,000 chemicals. And, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer in humans.

They also state that three chemicals in second-hand smoke are so dangerous that "no one should ever be exposed to them." Sidestream smoke, or the smoke coming directly off the end of the cigarette, has more tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and other chemicals that are cancer causing, than the smoker actually inhales through the end of a filtered cigarette.

Then, why, you ask would anyone want his or her child to inhale something as dangerous as cigarette smoke? I do not know. Second-hand smoke has many negative side affects in children, such as more coughing and wheezing, more ear infections, more bronchitis and pneumonia, and reduced lung function. Children who have smoking parents are ten times more likely to become asthmatic than children who are not exposed to cigarette smoke. Children who have acquired asthma,