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Resources about Environmental Tobacco Smoke for Child Care Providers

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), otherwise known as secondhand smoke, is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environment, including where and when the adults in their world choose to smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause asthma, and places infants and children at increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), pneumonia, bronchitis, and middle ear infections. This section of the website provides information on how to reduce or even eliminate children's exposure to ETS in child care settings.