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Negative Effects of Secondhand Smoke

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5. Low Birth Weight

Babies born to mothers who live with smokers often have a lower weight at birth. Passive smoking by pregnant women causes a reduced amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the baby via the placenta. This hampers the growth of the baby inside the womb, which leads to a low birth weight.

low birth weight due to secondhand smoke

A 2011 study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal found that a mother’s exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy is associated with increased odds of low birth weight and preterm delivery .

Another study published in the International Journal of High Risk Behaviors & Addiction in 2013 showed that secondhand smoke exposure among pregnant women may be significantly associated with early preterm delivery .

A 2016 study published in Scientific Reports concludes that maternal exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy may lead to low birth weight through the potential pathways of maternal inflammation and lower placental weight .

Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke can also have a greater risk of miscarriages and premature birth.

Plus, newborns who breathe secondhand smoke have a greater chance of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So, avoid secondhand smoke to have a healthy pregnancy.

6. Poor Immunity

Exposure to secondhand smoke is also bad for your immune system. The toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on the immune system by suppressing immune cells.

poor immunity due to secondhand smoke

When you inhale the toxic chemicals, they alter the number of various immune cells, which in turn impairs the functioning of others.

Exposure to secondhand smoke can make you more prone to respiratory infections, allergies, and even the common cold.

Also, secondhand smoke can make your body age faster.

7. Premature Aging of Your Skin

Being exposed to someone else’s cigarette or cigar smoke is very bad for your skin.

premature aging of skin from secondhand smoke

Tobacco smoke causes inflammation both for the smoker and anyone around the smoker. It also triggers free-radical damage and affects skin cell membranes, which in turn can cause your skin to wrinkle and sag.

Furthermore, exposure to secondhand smoke also reduces collagen production that gives your skin its firmness and a youthful look.

A 2015 study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications reports that secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke can cause skin collagen loss. Additionally, it might affect the appearance of the skin or could accelerate the skin aging process .

Tips to Backent Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

  • Make your home and car smoke-free by following a strict rule to not allow anyone to smoke inside your home or car.
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near you and especially around your child.
  • Encourage family, friends, and neighbors to create a smoke-free environment.
  • Do not bring your child to places where smoking is not banned.
  • Make sure your children’s daycare center and schools are tobacco-free.
  • Opt for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking.
  • Teach your children to stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • When traveling, look for hotels that do not allow smoking.
  • Be a good role model; do not smoke or use any other type of tobacco.

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