Second-hand smoke

Second-hand smoke is commonly referred to as passive smoke.

Regular passive smoking can increase your risk of:

Second-hand smoke and children

Children are even more at risk because of their smaller lungs and the fact that their bodies are still developing.

Second-hand smoke can affect babies before they’re even born – toxins from the smoke can get into the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy and reach the baby that way.

Exposing a child to second-hand smoke before or after birth makes a baby:

  • twice as likely to suffer from colic
  • more than twice as likely to get meningitis
  • three times more likely to die from cot death

Older children exposed to second-hand smoke may suffer from:

  • delayed mental development
  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • middle ear infections (glue ear)

After looking at all the research, the latest report prepared for the Government concluded that NO infant, child or adult should be exposed to second-hand smoke.


Second-hand smoke in cars

  • Research has shown that children travelling in cars where adults are smoking are breathing in air containing 100 times the safe level of pollution.
  • These children are still at risk from harmful levels of pollution even if windows are open or air conditioning is used.