NEW DATA from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that fully 30% of nonsmoking kids ages 3-17 are assaulted (make no mistake, that’s what it is!) with the toxic pollution from secondhand cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Children younger than 11 are most likely to be exposed.

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Amazingly, the report also found that exposure to secondhand smoke affects around 25% of kids who do NOT live in a home with a smoker. They encounter the smoke in friends’ and relatives’ homes, on playgrounds and in vehicles.

Secondhand smoke puts youngsters at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, stunted growth and ear infections as well as bronchitis and pneumonia. Plus, we know secondhand smoke ups adults’ risk of lung cancer, heart attack and stroke; so it might speed up a kid’s development of these life-threatening conditions.

Moms and dads: Quit smoking if you smoke (go to or for advice and support) and help your kids understand how dangerous exposure to smoke is when they’re out and about.

Making sure you never smoke in the house isn’t enough! Thirdhand smoke on your clothes and embedded in the car and backyard furniture is toxic, too!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit