Michael Bryant M.D.
Pediatrician, Childrenís Hospital Los Angeles
Second-hand smoke is the inhalation of smoke produced by others. It can be inhaled by being in close contact with those smoking or even from their clothing.
Some of the health risks in children around second-hand smoke are an increased incidence of asthma and allergies. Later in life this exposure can lead to restrictive lung disease (emphysema) or even cancer.
Smoke contains tars and other chemicals, which damage the tiny architecture of the lungs. This damage decreases the natural elasticity of the lungs and can cause scarring and predispose those affected to cancer.
If you smoke in another room, this does NOT eliminate the risk of exposing others to second hand smoke! The smoke resides in clothing, curtains, carpets, furniture fabrics, and children can inhale the smoke from these places.
The key is donít smoke. Itís not good for your health or that of your child!