Smoke free homes

Second hand smoke is the smoke that you breathe in from other people’s cigarettes. Your new baby is powerless to protect herself from second hand smoke. So don’t ever let anyone smoke around your baby.

Anyone’s health can be affected by the effects of second hand smoke, but babies and children are especially at risk.

Babies and children are more vulnerable

Babies and children tend to breathe more quickly and have less–developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Also babies can’t complain, or leave the room. Babies and children who are exposed to second hand smoke are more at risk of:

  • Cot death
  • Having damaged lungs
  • Getting illnesses like coughs, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Getting middle ear disease, which can cause deafness
  • Getting asthma, or wheezing

Further information on the effects of second hand smoke visit

Frequently asked questions:

Why is cigarette smoke so bad?

Cigarette smoke is a mixture of gases and particles which contains over 4,000 chemicals. Lots of these chemicals are toxic or irritate the lungs. Over 50 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. More than 80% of second hand smoke is invisible, so you can’t see where it goes. The smoke is impossible to control too. Even if you smoke near an open window or door, it can stay in the air long after you’ve finished.

How can I keep my baby or child safe from smoke?

A completely smoke free home and car is the only way to make sure that your children and family are protected. There is no safe level of second hand smoke. Smoking in a car with the window down, or near an open door won’t work because the smoke gets everywhere. Smoking in just one room of the house, waving smoke away, or only smoking inside when it’s raining or cold will not protect your loved ones either. There are lots of ways you and your family can benefit from making your home and car smoke free.

Keeping cigarette smoke well away from your car and home:

  • Helps to protect your family from the poisons that can damage their health
  • Keeps your home, car and clothes smelling fresh
  • Lowers your chance of having a fire in your home
  • Lowers the cost of insurance
  • Will help you to quit smoking if you haven’t already stopped.

If you would like to talk to someone about quitting, contact your midwife, health visitor or GP.

Further information - support is available for free by calling Help Me Quit on 0800 085 2219 or text HMQ to 80818 or visit

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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