Medical Minute: Second Hand Smoke

Posted at: 01/21/2014 4:19 PM
Updated at: 01/21/2014 4:21 PM

Hearing about how bad cigarettes are to your health shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Now there is new reason to kick the habit for good. ABC's Dr. Timothy Johnson has more.

A wake up call for parents who smoke stepping outside to light up, or holding that cigarette out the car window - it may not be enough to keep your kids safe from secondhand smoke.

Turns out, many smoking parents may not be aware their kids are being exposed. Researchers at Cincinnati Children's looked at hospital readmission rates for kids with asthma, asking parents if their children were exposed to secondhand smoke.

Plus, they didn't just take their parents word for it. They tested the blood and saliva of kids for evidence of smoke exposure. Many of the parents, it turned out, were flat wrong, and children with chemical evidence of secondhand smoke exposure were more likely to be readmitted.

It's another reminder that smokers' children don't need to smoke to be damaged.