Smoking and children

Because children have less developed airways and breathe faster than adults they breathe in more harmful chemicals.

If children breathe in second-hand smoke, they are at risk of all of the following: 

  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • childhood asthma and other chronic respiratory symptoms
  • acute lower respiratory tract infections in infancy and early childhood
  • childhood cancers
  • complications if they need a general anaesthetic
  • decreased lung function 
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
  • reduced sense of smell
  • long-term developmental effects
  • dental problems.

Children and smoking in cars 

Under the law, you must not smoke in a car with children under 16 years old. 

You can receive a penalty or on-the-spot-fine from the Northern Territory (NT) Police if you break this law.   

Smoking in a small space like a car increases the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, even with the window wound down.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017