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Smoking: Health Risk for Family Members

Topic Overview

If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (secondhand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk.

  • Because of secondhand smoke, spouses and children of people who smoke have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Babies whose parents smoke:
    • Are more likely to have ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis in the first few years of their lives.
    • Have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Children of people who smoke are more likely to be smokers themselves.

The good news is that you can change this! When you quit smoking, you reduce all of these risks for health problems in your family. You also increase the chance that your children will not smoke or will quit if they already smoke. So if you've ever thought about quitting, now you have one more good reason—for your family's and your friends' health.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised August 15, 2013

Last Revised: August 15, 2013

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