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Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk of asthma attacks

Banning smoking in enclosed public areas can reduce the number of children admitted to  the hospital for asthma-related complications.

Secondhand smoke – from either a cigarette, a pipe, or a cigar – is known to have negative effects on people’s health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it contains more than 4,000 substances, some of them known to cause cancer. In fact, the EPA estimates that approximately 3,000 non-smokers die of lung cancer each year as a result of inhaling these toxic fumes.

Children, especially, are at risk of developing other serious health conditions – such as asthma – when they are exposed to secondhand smoke, and a new study reveals data that supports this fact. 

According to Reuters, researchers from Imperial College London determined that implementing smoking bans in enclosed public places led to a decrease in the number of children admitted to hospitals due to asthma-related complications. 

England put the ban into effect in July 2007, and up until then hospital admissions for children suffering severe asthma attacks had been increasing by approximately 2.2 percent each year. Since then, the numbers have dropped significantly, falling 12.3 percent in the first year after that law was implemented. 

For the one in ten children in the United States who suffer from this chronic respiratory disease, less exposure to secondhand smoke is essential. 

“There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health benefits and this study shows that those benefits extend to childhood asthma,” Millett  said in a statement.

Fortunately, there are other actions people can take to reduce the amount of asthma triggers that their children are exposed to. Parents may want to consider investing in a whole house air purifier for their home, which can remove allergens directly from the air. 


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