Every year there are many people that fall ill to second-hand smoking. Although many individuals think that it is solely older individuals that become sick from secondhand smoke, this is not fully true. There is also another huge group of individuals that fall ill to secondhand smoke…children.

The effects of smoking on children are highly hazardous. Women that smoke while they are pregnant often have very difficult pregnancies. In most instances, the fetus becomes underdeveloped, born prematurely, have a low birth weight and have a lot of irreversible damage to the lung, heart, and brain. For babies, second-hand smoke is often linked to SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. This is a devastating thing to happen to a baby, as well as within a family, and can often be avoided if the child is not around secondhand smoke.

For older children, there are also many negative effects of smoking. Many older children have to deal with many respiratory infections from the effects of secondhand smoking. Asthma and other breathing developments can occur from secondhand smoke. It should also be noted that, unfortunately, there are children and young teens that start to smoke as well. The fact that children are smoking at such a young age is devastating enough, but children are more prone to develop illnesses, as well as have degeneration of bones, such as teeth, beginning at a much younger age than individuals of older ages. Children that smoke at a much younger age is also prone to have much shorter lives, a much higher rate of heart disease, as well as having cancer of the liver, kidneys, mouth, larynx, lungs, esophagus and the likes. The effects of smoking on children can indeed lead to premature death, as well.

It is important to school children about the effects of smoking, and how smoking can be very damaging to their health. Being a role model in not smoking can also be highly effective towards preventing children from taking up smoking. Being proactive in the benefits of not smoking can teach children that smoking truly is hazardous to your health. Children are easily influenced into smoking, and by seeing cigarette ads in magazines, papers, as well as on television, so it is important to regulate all of the items that children are exposed to as well. Children do not have to be directly exposed to passive smoke to have negative effects on them from smoking. Children and the effects of smoking can be a negative or positive experience – it lies in the hands of adults to teach the children the effects of smoking.