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Secondhand Smoke Endangers Children and Pets

You are probably well aware of the health risks tied to smoking. Unfortunately, that is not where the risks end. Smokers are also putting others at risk from the secondhand smoke. This is the smoke that fills the room when people are smoking and is inhaled by others. If a woman smokes while pregnant, she is exposing her unborn child to secondhand smoke.

When you smoke a cigarette, you know you are taking in nicotine and other toxins. What you may not be taking into consideration is that people around you are also taking in the same toxins. There are many studies that link secondhand smoke to illnesses such as cancer in the brain, larynx, pharynx, and bladder.

Women exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk for breast cancer.

Smoking during  pregnancy increases the risk of liver cancer in the child by five times over  those born to non-smoking parents.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at a greater risk for asthma, wheezing, coughing, pneumonia, and even slowed lung development than those in a non-smoking environment. If they become ill with bronchitis or the flu, there is a greater probability of a hospital stay or long-term treatment.

Your pets are also at risk and are susceptible to diseases related to smoke, such as: cancer of the nose, sinuses, and lungs. If they develop cancer, they will probably not survive because it weakens their entire system and there are limited treatment options..

The only way to minimize the exposure of your children and pets is to  smoke outdoors – never in an enclosed space, such as your home or car.  If you choose to smoke indoors, pick a designated smoking area where you can close the door and open the window. Children and pets should not be allowed to enter. Keep the rest of your home smoke-free.

Obviously, the best choice is to quit smoking. This will insure that your loved ones and pets have zero exposure to secondhand smoke in your home.  PLUS, you will live longer and enjoy better health with an enhanced sense of well-being.

Photo Credit: you gave me asthma via photopin (license)

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