Your baby’s environment
Secondhand smoke is made up of two things:
- The smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar
- The smoke exhaled by the smoker
Secondhand smoke is also called passive or involuntary smoking. It contains over 250 harmful chemicals; about 50 of these can cause cancer.
What you can do to protect your child from secondhand smoke
- If you or someone in your house smokes, stop! Talk to your employer or health care provider; they can refer you to a low-cost program. Visit the Web site smokefree.gov.
- If you smoke and plan to breastfeed your baby, stop smoking. Breast milk from women who smoke contains chemicals that are dangerous to babies.
- Don’t let anyone smoke in your home or your car, especially when children are present.
- Remove ashtrays from your house. They can encourage people to light up.
- Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- When choosing a baby-sitter or child care worker, be sure he or she does not smoke around your child.
- When you’re in public with your baby, ask others not to smoke around you and your child.
- Don't go to restaurants that allow smoking.
For more information, read "How can secondhand smoke harm my child?" from the American Academy of Pediatrics.