Smokers and Their Babies

Smokers and Their Babies

A news story appeared in the past month that should be of interest to fathers and mothers who smoke and who have young children.

The Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, a nationwide effort to test some 1,200 children. has been completed. (See “Babies at greater risk from 2nd-hand smoke, study finds,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 16, 2018). The results were alarming.

This study discovered that up to 15 percent of the studied children had “levels of cotinine, a byproduct of the body’s breakdown of nicotine,” “comparable with what would be found in an adult smoker.” Some “63 percent of babies and young children had levels of cotinine,” and this indicates “evidence of significant exposure to second- and third-hand smoke.”

Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp, the lead author of the study, says “it was definitely more than we expected, and it’s scary.” She says that “smoke continues on in the environment even after the cigarette is out.”

We think that some adult smokers with young children believe that as long as they don’t give a cigarette to a baby, the child is safe and unaffected. This study shows the opposite. If a child is in a home where tobacco is used, that child will be affected adversely in some way.

It is probably safe to say that the smoking adult who thinks that he is harming only his own body (through cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases) is also harming his or her baby or young child. In this way, we can safely say that the adult sins against the child! As Paul writes, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10). This means that the parent (or others) who harms the child through using tobacco really doesn’t have genuine love. He harms and sins against his child. If you are one of these, I urge you to repent and begin to truly love your family.

–Richard Hollerman

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