Secondhand marijuana smoke and kids

For years, we’ve talked concerning the hazard to kids of secondhand tobacco smoke. It makes bronchial asthma worse, will increase the chance of respiratory and ear infections — and even will increase the chance of sudden demise in infants. We’ve had all kinds of instructional campaigns for folks and caregivers, and have made some progress: between 2002 and 2015, smoking amongst mother and father of youngsters lower than 18 years outdated dropped from 27.6% to twenty.2%. However now there’s a new drawback: secondhand marijuana smoke.

Research present that when you’re round somebody who’s smoking marijuana, the smoke will get into your system too. How a lot of it will get in will depend on how shut the individual is, how many individuals are smoking and the way a lot, how lengthy you spend close to them, and the way a lot air flow there’s within the area. However analysis is obvious that cannabinoids, the chemical substances that trigger the “excessive,” get into the our bodies of individuals close by — together with kids.

Throughout the identical time interval that cigarette smoking round kids got here down greater than 7%, marijuana smoking round kids went up almost 5%. With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for leisure use, that quantity is more likely to proceed going up.

This isn’t good. Apart from the truth that we don’t need kids getting excessive, or uncovered to the risks of inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke, there’s the extra concern about long-term results on the mind. Whereas analysis continues to be ongoing, there’s proof to counsel that when youth and younger adults (whose brains are nonetheless growing) are uncovered to marijuana, it might have everlasting results on government perform, reminiscence, and even IQ.

This isn’t what we wish for our kids.

All the recommendation we give to folks who smoke tobacco applies to folks who smoke marijuana, together with:

  • One of the best factor for you and your baby is to not smoke in any respect. Discuss to your physician about methods to give up.
  • If you happen to do smoke, don’t smoke round your baby, ever.
  • Even when your baby isn’t round, don’t smoke someplace they are going to be, like your own home or your automobile. Smoke lingers.
  • After you smoke, change your garments and wash up. Once more: smoke lingers.

As authorized use of marijuana grows extra widespread, we have to create the identical sorts of guidelines and legal guidelines we’ve created to guard individuals from secondhand tobacco smoke.

Simply because one thing is authorized doesn’t imply it’s protected. And once we make decisions which have dangers, it’s not honest to impose these dangers on different individuals — particularly kids, and particularly once they might actually be harmed for the remainder of their lives.

Observe me on Twitter @drClaire

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