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Why Is Smoking Harmful To Others?

  • An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54% of children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.
  • Each year, primarily because of exposure to secondhand smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, and more than 46,000 die of heart disease.
  • Children are at particular risk for exposure to secondhand smoke: 53.6% of young children (aged 3–11 years) were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.
  • While only 5.4% of adult nonsmokers in the United States lived with someone who smoked inside their home, 18.2% of children (aged 3–11 years) lived with someone who smoked inside their home in 2007–2008.
  • Babies and children who breathe secondhand smoke are sick more often with bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.
  • In children, secondhand smoke causes:
    • Ear infections
    • More frequent and severe asthma attacks
    • Respiratory issues, including coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath
    • Respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia
    • An increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • In children aged 18 months and younger in the United States, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for:
    • 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually
    • Approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually

    http://www.hhs.gov/

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