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Smoking

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Smoking is harmful to our health. People who smoke have a higher risk of heart and lung disease, and various cancers. Second-hand smoke (passive smoking) is also harmful. Parents can protect their children from the harmful effects of passive smoking and guide them away from taking up smoking when they are older.

The best way to do this is to be a healthy role model and to not smoke. For advice on how to quit smoking visit  'Can I kick it?' from SA Health, Heart Foundation, Cancer Council SA and Quit SA 
http://kickit.quitsa.org.au/can_i_kick_it/index.html 

Contents


Smoking and babies

Pregnancy and smoking

It's recommended that you do not smoke during pregnancy.

Have a look at the topic 'Smoking in pregnancy'.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Smoking during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby by either parent increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

To give your baby a healthy start in life:

  • quit smoking if you or your partner are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • insist that friends and family do not smoke near your baby
  • make your home and car smoke-free.

Second-hand smoke and passive smoking

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that comes off the end of a lit cigarette and the smoke that a smoker breathes out. It's also known as environmental tobacco smoke.

Breathing in this smoke is called passive smoking. Passive smoking is harmful, especially to young children and babies.

There is no safe level of smoking or second-hand smoke. Smoking in another room or by an open window is not enough to prevent children from being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Other dangers for children

Apart from the dangers of passive smoking there are other risks to children who are around people who smoke.

  • Cigarettes and ash are poisonous. Eating even one butt can make a young child sick. Keep cigarettes and ashtrays away from children.
  • Cigarettes can seriously burn children.
  • Matches and lighters can cause burns and can start house fires and other fires. Keep them away from children.
  • Smoking while driving increases the chance of having an accident.

What you can do

Be a healthy role model

Parents are the most powerful role models for their children. Even though you may tell your children not to smoke, they are more likely to copy you than to do what you say. Children with a parent who smokes are twice as likely to take up smoking themselves in adolescence. The best action you can take is to quit smoking. Contact your doctor or Quitline for support.

The best way to do this is to be a healthy role model and to not smoke. For advice on how to quit smoking visit  'Can I kick it?' from SA Health, Heart Foundation, Cancer Council SA and Quit SA 
http://kickit.quitsa.org.au/can_i_kick_it/index.html 

What if my child smokes?

Most parents don't want their children to smoke, even if they smoke themselves. For parents who don't smoke, or who have quit, it can be upsetting to find out their child smokes.

You could suggest that they look at the Teen Health topic 'Smoking - giving up smoking'.

Tobacco control in South Australia

SA Health: South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2011-2016

For more information

Websites

  • Cancer Council South Australia
    www.cancersa.org.au
  • OxyGen site for young people about smoking. South Australian Smoking and Health Project, Smarter than Smoking Project (WA) and Quit Victoria.
    www.oxygen.org.au
  • ASH (Action on Smoking and Health Australia)
    www.ashaust.org.au
  • Parenting SA - for other Parent Easy Guides including: Living with teens, Young people and drugs, Peer Pressure
    www.parenting.sa.gov.au
  • Legal Services Commission, South Australia 
    www.lsc.sa.gov.au/ 
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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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