Second-hand smoke is harmful.

Second-hand cigarette smoke contains more than 60 chemicals that are known to cause cancer.

When you smoke near family and loved ones, you're exposing them to many diseases and negative health effects, including:

  • lung and nasal sinus cancers
  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • asthma
  • pre-term birth delivery.

Nearby family and loved ones are also likely to experience immediate health effects, such as:

  • eye and nose irritation
  • sore throat
  • cough.

Smoking around children is harmful.

Smoking around children and babies is extremely dangerous as their bodies are still developing. They are also far more likely to start smoking themselves.

Some of the risks to babies and children include:

  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • lung or airway infections
  • asthma flare-ups
  • middle ear disease.

The long-term effects of second-hand vapour (from e-cigarettes)

The long-term effects of second-hand vapor are unknown however, vaping indoors can increase the amount of tiny chemical particles in the air. This means anyone in the home, including children, can inhale these chemicals.

Vapes often have incomplete labelling, because of this it’s hard to know what chemicals you’re exhaling, and how they can affect those around you.

Many vapes contain nicotine, even if they say ‘no-nicotine'. Exposure to second-hand nicotine can alter brain structure and function, particularly during early childhood and adolescence.

Lower your risks of complications during pregnancy

Every pregnant woman cares for the health of her unborn baby. Quitting smoking or vaping immediately reduces your risk of pregnancy complications and harm to your baby’s health.

Smoking while pregnant increases your risk of:

  • miscarriage
  • premature labour
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • complications during birth.

You can get free support to quit in Queensland if you're pregnant, planning pregnancy within the next 6 months, or have a pregnant partner. Call Quitline on 13 78 48 to find out more.

Care for the health of your baby

Smoking can increase your baby’s risk of:

  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • low birth weight - possibly leading to multiple health issues in both childhood and adult life
  • infections and other health problems
  • asthma and other breathing difficulties.

Smoking while you're breastfeeding your baby isn't safe. Breast milk contains essential nutrients for your baby, and if you smoke while you breastfeed, toxic chemicals from tobacco are passed onto your baby through your breast milk.

Your ability to breastfeed is also affected by smoking. Women who smoke tend to produce less milk and wean their babies earlier than non-smokers.

Last updated: May 2023