Secondhand smoke

Published 06/11 2014 02:28PM

Updated 06/11 2014 02:28PM

Even if you don't smoke, you or your children can be endangered by breathing other people's cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Research is continuing to show that passive smoking-- also called 'E-T-S,' 'Environmental Tobacco Smoke'-- kills millions each year from lung cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. Being around people who are smoking, even as little as one hour a day, can almost triple a woman's risk of contracting breast cancer. Many workplaces have banned smoking inside buildings, and the federal government and the state of California have banned it entirely in the workplace. Tenants in apartments and condos have sued because they're getting smoke from other tenants through the ventilation system. Children who are around smokers have a much greater chance of developing diseases such as cancer, pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, and even SIDS, 'Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.' The federal Centers for Disease Control reports that kids exposed to smoke miss seven-million more school days than classmates who breathe smoke-free air. They also suffer over ten-million days of restricted activities, such as missing sports practice, which is 21 percent more than unexposed kids. Pregnant women who breathe secondhand smoke also endanger the health and life of their unborn baby. The evidence of the harmfulness of secondhand smoke to children is so great that some parents have lost custody because they exposed their children to tobacco smoke, and an increasing number of states are considering whether or not a parent smokes a factor in awarding custody or an adoption.

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