Protecting loved ones – Make Smoking History

Skip to main content.
Make Smoking History logo
Start of main content

Second-hand smoke

Second-hand smoke comes from the tip of a lit cigarette and the smoke that the smoker breathes out. Breathing in second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoking, can increase your risk of getting the same diseases as smokers, including lung cancer and heart disease.

Protect your children

Passive smoking is especially harmful for children as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Children who live in a household with at least one smoker are more likely to develop:

  • asthma
  • chest infections like pneumonia and bronchitis
  • meningitis
  • ear infections
  • coughs and colds

Babies are also at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking whilst pregnant, or smoking around a pregnant woman, can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and birth.

The risks of smoking during pregnancy Arrow pointing right
Exclamation Icon

Protect your pets

Pets are also affected by second-hand smoke – cats, dogs and birds that live in a home with someone who smokes are more likely to develop cancer, eye infections, allergies and breathing issues. This is because the harmful toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke get trapped in their nose, fur, feathers, and lungs.

Opening windows doesn't help

Second-hand smoke stays in the air for several hours after somebody smokes, although you might not see it or smell it. No matter how careful you think you’re being, people around you will still breathe in the harmful toxins.

Opening windows and doors, or smoking in another room, will not protect the other people in your house. The only way to fully protect your loved ones from second-hand smoke is by not smoking indoors or near them.

My parents smoking made me really anxious, and I was regularly vocal about the fact. But I didn’t realise that by them smoking around me, in the home and in the car, I was also being put at risk of becoming ill.
Caitlin’s story Arrow pointing right

Did you know?

Most people start smoking and become addicted when they are children. Those whose parents or siblings smoke are around three times more likely to smoke than children living in non-smoking households.

Children who start smoking at the youngest ages are more likely to smoke heavily and find it harder to give up. These smokers are at the greatest risk of developing smoking related diseases.

Question mark illustration

Reasons to quit


How to quit

There are many different ways to quit, so it's all about what works best for you. Let us show you some of the ways you can achieve a smokefree life.
How to quit Arrow pointing right

Quit support

It can be tough knowing where to start or how to deal with setbacks. We can help you plan your quit journey, keep you on track and set you up for success.
Quit Support Arrow pointing right

Real stories

There are many ex-smokers who have are now enjoying smokefree lives. Find out how they did and get inspired.
Real Stories Arrow pointing right