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Smoking and Tobacco

Residual smoke

02/27/2006

Question:

Adults don't smoke in house, but residual smoke is very apparent on their clothing, and in vehicle - does this pose any harm to three year old child?

Answer:

No child should be exposed to someone who is actively smoking. As far as "residual" smoke, it depends on the concentration of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and the time spent in the environment with ETS (both in the vehicle and chemicals left on the clothing). There is no amount of environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke) that has been determined to be safe. Infants and children seem to be among the most vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke, and are more likely to develop asthma, allergies, ear infections, and respiratory infections. Infants have a greater likelihood of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

According to the Mayo Clinic, ETS is a Class A carcinogen, and the 3rd leading cause of preventable death, killing approximately 53,000 non-smokers per year.

Some good websites to review are:

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Response by:

Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
Formerly:
Kick It!
The James
The Ohio State University