As parents, we have a responsibility to keep our kids safe. Smoking is a dangerous and destructive habit, and one that is all too common in the US. It’s estimated that about 13% of the population smokes cigarettes. That might not seem like much, but when you consider that smokers consume billions of cigarettes per year worldwide, the number is a bit more sobering.
Smoking inside a home is a pathway to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and other gasses and chemical toxins accumulating in your home. Children are especially vulnerable to these toxins. Here are five reasons why you should not allow smoking in your home as a parent.
1. It’s Deadly
It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: smoking is a deadly habit. Each year, about 800,000 people die from cigarette-related health complications. Why? Because cigarettes are a chemical stew of toxins that you’re literally breathing into your lungs. Imagine taking a small vial of poison and willingly ingesting it. Smoking is essentially the same concept, just disguised as an anxiety-relieving habit that makes you “cool”.
Smoking will prove fatal given enough time. Damaged lungs, a compromised immune system, hypertension, and heart disease are a deadly combination, and you can achieve all four with a lifelong cigarette habit. The worst part about it? Everyone around the smoker gets to experience the same risk levels due to second-hand smoke.
Second-hand smoke is deadly as well. Inside a home, no one is safe from it, even if you designate an entire room to smoking and keep the door closed at all times.
2. Kids Are More Susceptible To Second-Hand Smoke
Second-hand smoke might be deadly for adults, but it’s especially deadly for children. Children’s bodies are less capable of filtering out all the toxins of cigarette smoke, as their lungs and other systems are still in the process of developing. Essentially, smoking inside the home endangers everyone’s lives, and puts children at higher risk for serious health complications later in life.
Second-hand smoke is generally believed to be “safer” than first-hand smoke. Let’s squash that rumor right now; second-hand smoke is nearly as destructive as if you were smoking the cigarette yourself, if not more so since the second-hand smoker doesn’t have a filter to breathe through.
Smaller children might experience more frequent respiratory illness, develop conditions such as asthma, and become prone to illness. Smoking is destructive; don’t let it destroy your children, too.
3. It’s Unhygienic
Not only does smoking produce a noxious odor that’s difficult to remove from fabrics, surfaces, and upholstery, but it also creates a sort of film on home surfaces. That’s the tar from the cigarette smoke sticking to everything, which can help concentrate the harmful chemicals a cigarette emits.
Allowing smoking in the home means your childrens’ clothing, toys, blankets, and other belongings will be coated with this tar and forever retain the smell of stale cigarette smoke. Smoking is unhygienic, and your children will suffer from its effects if exposed to it on a regular basis. The best thing to do is say no to smoking inside the home.
4. Small Spaces Amplify The Effects
Cigarette smoke can be dangerous in a well-ventilated area, but it can be even more deadly in an enclosed space such as a vehicle or home. The smoke essentially lingers in the small space, so every time you breathe in, you’re getting more and more smoke. When you’re outside, you can step away and get some fresh air, but inside the house, there’s nowhere to go.
Cigarette smoke doesn’t just go away, either. The more you smoke in a house, the more polluted the air becomes. The air quality can drop to dangerous levels, making it difficult to breathe in the home at all.
Some parents are choosing to go tobaccoless to avoid the dangers of smoking without giving up the ritual and feel of nicotine consumption. Brands like Black Buffalo offer high-quality tobacco-free products to help you give up smoking for good.
5. It Can Be Impossible To Eliminate The Damage Entirely
Damage to a home from smoking isn’t something you can undo with a few nails and a paintbrush. Special paints are needed to repaint heavily-damaged walls from cigarette smoke, to contain the odor and toxic chemicals in the residue. Not to mention, entire ventilation systems and furnaces might need replacing if you’ve been smoking in the home long enough.
The bottom line is that smoking inside your home is both deadly for children and destructive to the home itself. As a parent, the best decision you can make is eliminating smoking from your home altogether. It’s a good idea to ditch the habit before it catches up to you, too.