Children’s Health and Parent’s Smoking [Archives:2005/854/Health]

June 27 2005

By Dr. Amr Al-jawi
According to a report of World Health Organization (WHO) on parent's smoking in the presence of their children, more than 600 thousand children in the world die of what is known as negative smoking, because of its effect on their Respiratory system and the future effect on the heart and other organs.

Negative smoking means, the presence of a number of people in a closed place where there are smokers. Smoking is a bad habit. Its harm is not confined only to the smoker. Other people around the smoker are subjected to dangers not less than the smoker himself. The concentrated smoke increases the dangers of contracting colds, chest infections and asthma as well as ear, nose and throat infections. E.N. T. Infections, especially effect children when they inhale the smoke, because of the insufficient development of their immunity system.

In a report for the International Environment Organization, it considered smoking to be one of environment pollutions, it poses a threat to children's health all over the world. There is a connection between the air pollution and the high rate of chronic lung diseases, including bronchus inflammation (Bronchitis). The polluted air aggravates the pulmonary diseases in children and adolescents that undermine lung functions. There are acute chest sensitivity cases in children that are hard to treat. Investigations lead to the direct reason, that one of the parents is a smoker. Asthma diseases are common in children medicine. There is a connection between smoking parents and the aggravation of this disease.

Asthma happens as a result of exposure to certain substances, like cigarettes smoke, fuels, or due to immunity factors such as furniture dust, wool and bird feathers. These are substances that combine in the Air Bronchus and allows the passage of a number of substances like the HISTAMINE & LEUKOTRINE. This type of asthma is known as the ALLERGIDIC ASTHMA. There is readiness in some families for the repetition of the cases due to the similarity of the condition. Negative smoking is also responsible for early children's disease of ARTERIES.

WHO 's report has also stressed on the seriousness of smoking on pregnant women.. It leads to the birth of children with an underweight of 200 grams less than the normal rate. This is attributed to the oxidation of the tissues of the fetus. There are possibilities of other diseases after birth.

A study conducted in Bristol University on 8500 working women who were exposed to negative smoking, showed that 14% of them had a decrease in their ability. The study mentioned that pregnant women who smoke have a high tendency to miscarriage, pre-mature birth, and still birth.

The high rate of carbon monoxide and (neonates ) blood and born infants of smoking mothers reduce their ability to carry blood, because carbon monoxide has the ability to combine with HEAMOGLOBIN. Apart from the dangers of the nicotine on the CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, the tar that results from the cigarettes is sure to cause LUNG CANCER and URETHERAL CANCER, in addition to its destructive effects on eye and skin.

All sorts of smoking are harmful. Smokers should terminate on the spot. Studies have proved that juvenile delinquencies often start with smoking. The dangers of smoking in closed areas should be avoided, specially in the presence of children. In most of the developed world countries smoking is prohibited in public places like lifts, restaurants, airports and transportation. The problem is still more acute in hot, humid countries, where air conditioners are used day and night with limited ventilation.