We all know that second hand smoke is deadly right? Well now studies are linking second hand smoke to the flu. Reports say that children with the flu that have been exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to need intensive care which will require longer stays at the hospital. Read more below.


Analyzing the records of more than 100 kids hospitalized with flu in New York state, researchers found those exposed to second-hand smoke were five times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and required a 70 percent longer stay in the hospital, compared to the kids not exposed to smoke.

“People are being a bit complacent and thinking that because they don’t see smoking as often…that it’s not a problem anymore,” said Dr. Karen Wilson, of Children’s Hospital Colorado, in Aurora, who led the study. “But we still need to be vigilant about protecting kids from second-hand smoke.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, passive smoking causes ear infection, breathing problems and lung infections in children, and leads to the hospitalization of up to 15,000 children under the age of 18 months every year.

The new work is the first study to look at the effect of second-hand smoke on kids with influenza, however.

Wilson and her team looked at hospital records for 117 kids admitted for influenza to a New York hospital between 2002 and 2009.

Second-hand smoke exposure was reported on the charts of 40 percent of the kids – slightly lower than the 53 percent national exposure rate for kids under 11 estimated by the CDC in 2008.

During the seven-year study, researchers found that overall, 18 percent of the flu-affected kids were admitted to intensive care, and six percent needed to be intubated with a breathing tube. On average, kids stayed in the hospital for two days.

When Wilson and her team compared the kids who had been exposed to second-hand smoke to those who weren’t, they found that 30 percent of smoke-exposed kids needed intensive care versus 10 percent of unexposed kids. Intubation was required for 13 percent of smoke-exposed kids, compared to one percent of those from a smoke-free home.