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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Medical Effects of Second Hand Crack Smoke

11/19/2009

Question:

My former son in law was taking my grandaughter to the crack house where he smoked for two years from age 3 to age 5 when we discovered his problem. She sat in the room adjacent to the crack users which was not closed off from the smoking. What should we be concerned about as far as my grandaughter`s health (now age 6 and 1/2)?

Answer:

Most of the studies in the area of second-hand crack smoke focus on infants who are less than 1 year old. In these studies the infants had a higher risk of upper respiratory and lower respiratory infections.

It is difficult to answer your question without knowing exactly how much exposure your granddaughter had and if she was exposed to cigarette smoke in addition to the smoke from crack cocaine.

This is an area that is still being studied. I would surmise that the most likely problems would have to do with the respiratory system--including infections and asthma and other breathing problems.


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Response by:

Christina M Delos Reyes, MD Christina M Delos Reyes, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University