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Second-hand smoke


Tips on protecting your children from second-hand smoke:
  • Make your home and car strictly smokefree areas, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Ask for support from your family/whānau by following your no smoking house and car rules.
  • Throw away all the ashtrays in your home.
  • Get rid of all your lighters.
  • Be a good role model, never smoke in front of children. This can reduce the risk of them growing up to be smokers.
  • If you smoke, get support to stop now. Support doubles your chance of staying quit.

Nothing is more important than our children and given that around 80% of current smokers would not smoke if they had their life over again, it’s disheartening for many, that children who have a parent who smokes are seven times more likely to become smokers.

Aside from that, second-hand smoke is especially dangerous to our children as they are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke because of their lower body weight and smaller lungs. Second-hand smoke refers to when you're exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco because a person is smoking in an area near you.

Children must be protected from second-hand smoke because of the increased health risks that can come from second-hand smoke.

The negative effects of parental smoking (both before and after birth) on children's respiratory health have been confirmed. Asthma has been strongly linked with a mother’s smoking during pregnancy, however exposure to second-hand smoke after birth is also linked with many other respiratory problems.  

Keep your children safe so they can live long and healthy lives - stay smoke free.

  • Smoking around children increases their risk of serious infections that affect breathing, such as croup, bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • They’re also more likely to catch coughs, colds or wheezes.
  • Smoking dramatically increases the risk of cot death (sudden unexpected death in infancy) for infants.
  • Smoking increases the risk of your children contracting glue ear and other middle ear infections.
  • Smoking increases the risk of your children getting meningococcal disease.

There are no safe amounts of exposure to second-hand smoke – people who are exposed can suffer many of the same diseases that regular smokers get, like lung cancer, coronary heart disease, nasal sinus cancer and acute stroke.