Topic 2 Passive Smoking

Impact of passive smoking on children

Children of smoking parents exposed to tobacco smoke at home get sick about 3 times more often than children of non-smoking parents.

  • watery eyes, irritation of the nose and throat;
  • headache, fatigue, rapid pulse;
  • more frequent colds and coughs;
  • bronchitis and pneumonia;
  • ear inflammation;
  • development of asthma;
  • absences from school due to illness;
  • admission to hospital;
  • memory impairment and lower school performance;
  • lower sports performance.

But the problem doesn’t end there. Exposure to tobacco smoke at home (smoking by parents and other family members) has been proven to increase the risk of school-age smoking. Children in smoking families have easier access to cigarettes. They also become ‘accustomed’ to the smell and the irritating effects of tobacco smoke, which would otherwise put them off cigarettes for at least a few more years. Naturally, children seek to copy their parents and older siblings.

  • Ignorance of the harm of cigarettes or downplaying the health risks;
  • Imitating peers or students – leaders who smoke;
  • Feeling alienated at school;
  • Alcohol use;
  • Living with only one parent;
  • Having a best friend who smokes;
  • Beliefs that smoking represents a person as an adult or that it calms the nerves;
  • Intention to terminate education.

What are the alternatives to smoking for parents?

  • Listening to music with your children;
  • Drawing together;
  • To read;
  • Ride a bike;
  • Swim;
  • Dance;
  • Play with your children (family games);
  • Talk with your children;
  • To rest together;
  • Take walks together;
  • To sleep;
  • To clean your home;
  • Many more things…