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Skip Secondhand Smoke

By Jill Hamilton on November 19, 2013 in Healthy Living


11.19 Skip Secondhand Smoke
We've talked about how bad smoking is several times on this blog. But one thing we haven't discussed is secondhand smoke. So, with the Great American Smokeout 2 days away – here's one more reason to quit – your kids.

If you are thinking about smoking around your children, think again. Children are extremely vulnerable to the ill-effects of secondhand smoke.

Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory illness, asthma, middle ear infections and tooth decay.

Yet, sadly, almost 60 percent of U.S. children 3 to 11 years old are exposed to secondhand smoke.

In addition, the more secondhand smoke a child is exposed to, the more likely the child will become a smoker as an adolescent or an adult.

No amount of secondhand smoke is safe for children. If you smoke, speak with your doctor or dentist about the best way for you to quit. And if you do slip and want to smoke, go outside, away from your children's lungs.

Not only is secondhand smoke bad for your children's health, but smoking is also harmful to your own health. Smoking has serious negative effects on the entire body, including the mouth, teeth, and gums. Besides bad breath and stained, yellow teeth, smokers also are at a greater risk for:

• Oral cancer
• Gum disease—a leading cause of tooth loss
• Slower healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery
• Decreased sense of smell and taste

Quit smoking today. It's important for your health and the health of your children.