An Honest Look at How Smoking Affects Everyone Around You

Posted By: Staff | May 7 2014

Perhaps you believe that your smoking habit is just YOUR problem. Did you ever stop to analyze why non-smokers are so outspoken about smoking in public? The secondhand smoke issue is highly charged and still debated. But there’s more to the issue of how your smoking affects other people. This article is an honest look—a chance for you to evaluate the impact your smoking has on everyone around you.

Developmental growth and birth weight in babies of smoking mothers is lower than babies of non-smoking mothers. These same “smoking” babies are more likely to be shorter in height, slower at reading and lower in “social adjustment” than children of nonsmoking mothers.  Statistics show that infant mortality—the death of the baby either at birth or through a miscarriage—is 50 percent higher when the mother smokes.

Children of smokers are also 2 1/2 times more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or crib death. One study found that nearly 60 percent of all SIDS cases could be prevented if smokers stopped smoking around babies and pregnant women.

Donald Shopland, coordinator of NCI’s Smoking and Tobacco Control Program, notes that the report estimates that each year in the United States between 35,000 and 62,000 coronary heart disease deaths occur due to secondhand smoke exposure, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

How else does your smoking affect other people? Consider that your smoking habit costs hundreds or thousands of dollars per year. Add this amount up over 20 or 30 years, plus tack on the interest that money could have earned and you have wasted perhaps $100,000 or more! Just think what that money could have done for you and your family. One cigarette at a time, and no one notices. But if you pulled $100,000 out of your bank account, you’d be called a thief!

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