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Asthma

Residual Smoke and Small Children

06/06/2006

Question:

Adults don`t smoke in house, but residual smoke is very apparent on their clothing, and in vehicle - does this pose any harm to three year old child?

Answer:

Second hand smoke has been associated with more frequent ear and upper respiratory infections in children.  Children who have or are predisposed to have asthma may also suffer if exposed to second hand smoke.  Much of the damage is thought to be due to the toxins in the smoke which children inhale.  If they are not directly exposed to the smoke it is unknown if exposure to strong cigarette odor is harmful.

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Response by:

John G Mastronarde, MD John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University