How children of smokers can get sick: doctors warn

Everyone knows about the dangers of smoking. Nevertheless, the number of people with this bad habit continues to grow every year.

According to a study published in The Lancet, the number of smokers in the world reached 1.14 billion in 2019. In the 1990s, there were 0.99 billion. At the same time, smoking causes the death of 7.69 million people a year.

Tobacco smoke is dangerous not only for those who smoke, but also for the people around them. Children of smokers are at particular risk.

Secondhand smoke and children

According to WHO data 165,000 children die before the age of 5 due to diseases caused by passive smoking. And those that survive are at risk for developing COPD. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, of which 40 are carcinogens and at least 250 are recognized as harmful to health. And compared with an adult, the child's body is more susceptible to the harmful effects of these poisons. Therefore, children who grow up in families of smokers, as a rule, get sick more often than their peers who lead a healthy lifestyle.

Passive smoking affects the child's body in the same way as active smoking:

  • prevents the development of strong immunity;
  • affects all internal organs, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous systems, liver, kidneys, stomach;
  • leads to disruption of metabolic processes;
  • has a detrimental effect on brain cells, which can cause developmental delays and a decrease in intellectual abilities.

Doctors have noticed that children in families of smokers are 15 times more likely to suffer from bronchitis, pneumonia and other bronchopulmonary diseases. And the wives of smoking men are 4 times more likely to suffer from oncological diseases.

Inhalation of tobacco smoke increases the risk of a child developing a number of diseases:

  • cancer;
  • cardiovascular;
  • ENT organs.

Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are at high risk for sudden infant death syndrome. Children of smokers cough more often, they are more difficult to tolerate respiratory diseases. Passive smoking can cause nasal congestion, headache, eye irritation, hoarseness and sore throat. Such children are at increased risk of developing bronchial asthma and allergies.

If passive smoking continues for years, then the child's lung function is either impaired, or the organ is initially unable to develop properly and increases the risk of lung cancer. In addition, in families where one of the parents smokes, there is a higher risk that the child will also smoke.

How does smoking during pregnancy affect the health of the unborn child

Babies who are still in the womb are not protected from the toxic substances contained in cigarettes. And we are talking not only about women who smoke while carrying a child.

Passive smoking during pregnancy can lead to developmental disorders in the fetus, in particular to provoke problems with the respiratory system. And if a baby inhales cigarette smoke, then he has an increased risk of sudden death syndrome.

If a woman smokes during pregnancy, it can cause fetal death. Smokers are almost 12.5 times more likely to have miscarriages, including in late pregnancy. Cigarette smoke passing through the placenta can paralyze the fetal respiratory system and cause convulsions. In addition, smoking mothers quite often give birth to babies with lesions of the central nervous system.