Scientifically Verified

Effect of Secondhand Smoke on Small Children

February 1, 2024
5 min
Written by
Written by

Are you a smoker with small children in your home? Do you or anyone else in the home smoke near them? 

If so, you should be aware of the consequences of second hand smoke on small children and infants.

The dangers associated with secondhand smoke have been well documented for decades, from increased risk of respiratory issues to ear infections and asthma

Small children are even more at risk of falling victim to these health issues because of their developing lungs and immature nervous system. 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the issue and trying to find solutions. 

Read on to learn more about how secondhand smoke affects small children and what steps can be taken to reduce exposure levels.

What are the potential health risks of secondhand smoke on young children

Young children, from birth to the age of 20 years old still have fragile, developing internal organs. This makes them particularly sensitive to the toxic chemicals found in smoke, whether from cigarettes, cigars or e-cigarettes.

Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):

Very young infants are at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) until they reach their first birthday. This is a very serious condition where a seemingly healthy baby suddenly dies during their sleep. Secondhand smoke has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS in babies due to certain chemicals in the smoke that interfere with normal breathing patterns during sleep

Impaired lung development:

Secondhand smoke can, unsurprisingly, be very harmful to lung development in children of all ages. It can slow down lung growth causing lung insufficiency and reduced lung function, which is often irreversible. The child would then suffer difficulty breathing during their entire life, especially when engaging in physical activities. 

Secondhand smoke also increases the risk of contracting respiratory diseases all through their lives: 

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma

Increased risk of ear infections:

While ear infections are a common annoyance in young and very young children, it can be worsened by secondhand smoke. The smoke irritates the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of the throat, leading to inflammation and fluid buildup. This can cause frequent ear infections, which in turn can lead to hearing loss, and speech development issues.

Learning disabilities:

Some studies suggest that children that were exposed to secondhand smoke in their young years have more difficulties with attention and memory. The toxic components found in the smoke can disrupt the chemical balance in their developing brain, making it harder for them to concentrate and retain new skills

Behavioral and emotional effects:

Last but not least, secondhand smoke has been linked to significant behavioral distress, especially in young children. By being themselves addicted to nicotine, they present the same symptoms of withdrawal as an adult, namely irritability, restlessness, anxiety and difficulty concentrating. 

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Create a smoke-free environment

Your best bet is to create a smoke-free home, where smoking is not allowed anywhere a child can access. That includes the car! 

Send any and all smokers outside to smoke, and make them wash their hands after smoking. 

But let's be clear, the best way to maintain a smoke-free home for your children is to quit smoking altogether. If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that. 

Quit smoking with self-hypnosis

There is a way to quit smoking without all the withdrawal symptoms. Hypnosis helps you quit smoking by using your subconscious mind to reprogram your deep-rooted habits and beliefs. Because hypnosis addresses the WHY of your smoking habit, it’s believed to be the safest, smoothest way of quitting smoking

In the hypnotic state, your prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus become more open to suggestions. This helps your brain reframe your addiction to smoking, giving you tools to overcome cravings and builds your motivation to quit. 

Hypnosis is a unique method to quit smoking in that it helps you understand your triggers and underlying psychological ties you have with cigarettes. It helps you uncover and confront the profound reasons behind your smoking habit, whether it's stress, boredom, or emotional coping. By addressing these triggers at their core, hypnosis can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms and finally say no to nicotine.

Hypnosis also allows you to identify the specific situations that lead to your urge to smoke, like gatherings with friends or driving to work. Hypnosis creates new neural pathways that link smoking to negative experiences, such as the smell and taste of cigarettes, instead of the positive connotation it currently has for your brain. Through repetition and reinforcement, these new associations become stronger, gradually reducing your cravings.

Most importantly, hypnosis is absolutely non-invasive and safe. Forget about nicotine patches, drugs and even herbs. Hypnosis is a way for you to work on yourself and your addiction from the inside, just you and your mind working together to help your body wean off the drugs. 

OneLeaf: your partner to quit smoking

OneLeaf offers a self-hypnosis program so you don’t have to rely on someone else’s schedule, or spend a lot of money on a single hypnosis session per week. Thanks to our user-friendly application, you can experience self-hypnosis every day, to work on your cravings whenever they hit you. 

Our 21-day Quit smoking program offers a daily self-hypnosis session for 3 weeks, as well as SOS tracks for when you’re feeling extra stressed. Reduce the effects of secondhand smoke on your children thanks to the magic of self-hypnosis to quit smoking, the only safe, easy and actually enjoyable way to quit smoking

With OneLeaf, you're not alone in your quest to quit smoking. Experience the freedom and vitality that come with a smoke-free life. Take the first step today and start your first session. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less. Quit smoking with self-hypnosis, embrace a brighter future with OneLeaf.

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