Second-hand smoke is what you breathe in when you are around a smoker. It is what the the smoker breathes out and the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals. There is no safe level of exposure. Any exposure is harmful!
Children who spend one hour in a very smoky room inhale enough toxic chemicals to equal smoking 10 cigarettes.
Smoke contains many irritants and poisons. It is especially dangerous for babies and young children. Their lungs are delicate. Not only is a child’s body developing physically, but his or her breathing rate is faster than an adult’s. Adults breathe in and out about 14 to 18 times a minute. But newborns can breathe as fast as 60 times a minute. When their air is tainted with cigarette smoke when children are young, their developing lungs receive a higher concentration of inhaled toxins. Babies can’t move to another room because the air is smoky. They depend on us to provide them with clean air to breathe.
Nicotine withdrawal occurs when the nervous system reacts to the lack of nicotine in the blood. Nicotine is a very addictive drug. Some say it is more addictive than heroin.
During withdrawal you may have:
1. List your reasons for quitting. For example:
2. Set a “quit” date and mark it on your calendar. Pick a day that has special meaning if possible.
3. Talk to your physician or healthcare provider about nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation medication options.
4. Ask someone else who smokes to quit with you so that you can help each other.
5. If any of your friends has quit smoking, ask them for help and support.
6. Each day deposit money not spent on cigarettes in a clear bank, and watch your savings grow. Plan a reward for yourself.
7. Each day try to smoke less as you get closer to your quit date. Make the time between each cigarette longer and longer.
8. When your “quit day” comes, throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. Ask your family and friends to please not smoke around you.
9. Take one day at a time. Each morning tell yourself, “I will not smoke today.”
The symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine are worst the first 3 to 7 days after quitting. After that, the physical symptoms fade and are gone by 2 weeks. During withdrawal, you may be moody and nervous. You may sweat and have cravings for sweets. You may also have trouble sleeping or concentrating.
o Bupropion (brand name, Zyban®).
o Varenicline (brand name, Chantix®).
Don’t give up just because you have one cigarette! Having a “slip” can happen to anyone. Keep trying. Most successful quitters have tried to quit 3 or 4 times before. You can do it!
Please ask your child’s nurse or respiratory therapist for a copy of the Stop Smoking Programs Helping Hand.
Second-hand Smoke (PDF)
HH-IV-68 5/95, Revised 11/12 Copyright 1995-2012, Nationwide Children’s Hospital