Parental and other secondhand smoking has a negative effect on the health of others in the same indoor environment. Other terms for secondhand smoking, are environmental tobacco smoking (or ETS), and passive smoking. Smoking in households with children increases their chances of developing chronic coughs, respiratory infections, and ear infections. For children with asthma, ETS makes their disease more serious. Maternal smoking (to us, that means all smoking in the household) may increase the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Non-smokers who are exposed to the tobacco smoke of others, called secondhand smokers or passive smokers, in essence are involuntary smokers. Environmental tobacco smoke also causes heart disease and lung cancer. It can also cause asthmatic conditions. Children in households where one or both parents smoke have more respiratory illnesses and infections of the middle ear (otitis media).
Other situations frequently associated with being an involuntarysecondhand smoker include:
- non-smoking spouses or partners of smokers
- exposure to smokers in bars and restaurants