If you’re a smoker with kids, then you already know the dangers of secondhand smoke. And maybe you try to smoke outside or in the car, or when your kids aren’t with you. Unfortunately, even these measures aren’t enough to protect your children from the damaging effects of smoking – both physical and mental. Here are some big ways your smoking habit is affecting your kids:
It’s in the air.
Each year, approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by secondhand smoke. And it causes thousands more via heart disease in nonsmoking adults. In fact, cigarette smoke has over 250 different chemicals known to cause disease. For kids, secondhand smoke is particularly harmful and can also cause health issues like asthma and frequent respiratory infections.
It’s in your home.
Even if you’re not smoking around your kids, the toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke cling to your furniture, carpets, clothing and inside your car. This can happen even if you go outside to smoke, as you’re carrying the chemical residue back in with you without even knowing it. This exposure is called thirdhand smoke and research is being done on how it affects children.
It’s in their heads.
And then there is the mental aspect of children with parents who smoke. When children learn about the dangers of smoking and then watch you do it, it’s natural that they’d worry about your health and what might happen to you because of your habit. On the flip side, they may become desensitized to it to the point that they decide to start smoking themselves later in life.
While these are serious concerns, the good news is that you can use them as a motivation to help you quit for good. Yes, you should quit smoking for yourself and your own health, first and foremost. But quitting for your kids, too – and for the health of your family – is also a very worthy goal.
Quit for you, quit for them
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