Smoking Harms Your Family

(Content revised 01/2020)

Smoking does not just cause harm to the smoker himself, but also to his colleagues, friends and family members.

Secondhand smokers bear the risk from both the mainstream smoke and the sidestream smoke.

Foetus and children as Passive Smoker

Smoking in pregnant women is definitely harmful to the foetus, causing

  • Stillbirths and early neonatal deaths
  • Increased risk of pre-term delivery
  • Increased risk of having low birth weight babies, and
  • Some studies showed that carcinogenic substances from tobacco smoke may pass through the placenta to the foetus

Studies have shown that secondhand smoke causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and increases the risk of lower respiratory illnesses (pneumonia, bronchitis) and asthma among infants as well as children. So a smoke-free environment is vital to babies.

Smoking may cause permanent damage to your children. You can change it. STOP smoking NOW!


Dear Mom and Dad,

Quit smoking now, please! You really have no idea what miseries we children of smokers have to go through.

  • Because you smoke, our home is always full of smoke and smell of cigarettes. We can't breathe.
  • Because you smoke, it makes us cough and our eyes watery. It's also bad for our health and increases our risk of getting bronchial disorders.
  • Because you smoke, people around you feel upset or uncomfortable. And look at your tarry teeth! Your breath stinks and wrinkles are all over your faces.
  • Smoking makes you bad role models. We always have to fight off the desire to smoke like you do.
  • Cigarettes are very costly. You two have been quarrelling over money matters all the time, and we seldom get to buy our toys.
  • Smoking also decreases your ability to exercise and ages you fast. No wonder you don't want to take us for a walk.
  • The Government warns that “Smoking can kill”. We don't want to be orphans.

Extra risks of respiratory ill health due to passive smoking at home in children who have never had active smoking

  • Nasal symptoms 17%
  • Throat symptoms 35%
  • Cough 54%
  • Phlegm 44%
  • Wheezing ever 12%

(Data from Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health - Report No. 5: Smoking and Passive Smoking in Children 1998)

Information shows that in children, secondhand smoke can increase the risk of respiratory tract infections, cough, phlegm and wheezing.

Other studies also show that household secondhand smoke exposure makes baby in the first 3 months of life most prone to infectious disease. Besides, secondhand smoke also associates with a higher risk of admission to hospital for infectious illness for children up to 8 years of age.
But most importantly, under parental influence, children of smokers are more likely to smoke than those of non-smokers.

So, for your children's sake, quit smoking now! Studies have shown that using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or individual counselling increases the chance of success in smoking cessation compared with self effort.

Smoking Cessation Hotlines:  
Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline of the Department of Health 1833 183
“Quitline” (Smoking Counselling and Cessation Hotline) of the Hospital Authority 2300 7272


Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office of the Department of Health