The lungs and respiratory tracts

Exposure to ETS decreases lung efficiency and impairs lung function in children of all ages. It also:

  • Increases both the frequency and severity of childhood asthma
  • Can aggravate sinusitis, rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic respiratory problems such as cough and postnasal drip
  • Increases the number of children’s colds and sore throats
  • Increases the likelihood of bronchitis and pneumonia in children under two

    In fact, a 1992 study by the Environmental Protection Agency says ETS causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections each year in infants and children under 18 months of age. These illnesses result in nearly 15,000 hospitalizations. Children of parents who smoke half a pack a day or more are at nearly double the risk of hospitalization for a respiratory illness.

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