Have You Resolved to Quit Smoking?

posted 1/3/23 -- Smokers often resolve to quit in the new year, however, the success rate for quitters is low. The high stakes include the impact on children in the smoker’s home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even brief exposure can cause immediate harm. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the many poisons in secondhand smoke.

Children are significantly more likely than adults to live in a house with at least one smoker. Secondhand smoke exposure increases risks for the following:

  • Acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis;
  • Ear infections and middle ear disease and the need for surgery to insert ear tubes;
  • Slowed lung growth and asthma;
  • Children with asthma who are exposed to smoke have more frequent and more severe attacks which can be life threatening;
  • Respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, wheezing and breathlessness.

Furthermore, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is more likely if the baby is exposed to smoke either in the womb or in the home. Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke may have lower birth weight babies which can lead to many other health issues.

Help is available locally and nationwide. Lorain County Community College and Mercy Foundation both have Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists on staff to help. Virtual counseling is available through the Ohio Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) as well as the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA.

Studies on the use of e-cigarettes or vaping to quit smoking are so far inconclusive. The FDA does not endorse the use of e-cigarettes to quit smoking; however, the CDC says they may help non-pregnant users in some cases.

Learn more about the risks of smoking, the benefits of quitting and resources to help you quit at www.loraincountyhealth.com/quitnow.