First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home Solutions Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths Decrease Exposure to Smoking

Decrease Exposure to Smoking

By decreasing infants’ exposure to smoking, families can help  prevent sleep-related deaths and help more babies see their first birthday.

Any exposure to smoke or nicotine can be harmful to babies, but smoking while pregnant is the strongest risk factor leading to sleep-related infant death. Smoking while pregnant may also result in premature births, low birth weight, respiratory problems and cognitive impairments which limit a child’s ability to learn.

Infants who die from sleep-related deaths tend to have higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs and higher levels of cotinine (a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure) than infants who die from other causes.

To reduce the risk of tragic sleep-related deaths in Cuyahoga County, we at First Year Cleveland encourage parents, family members and caregivers who smoke to quit — and help decrease babies’ exposure to smoking, as well.

Some steps you can take to help your baby avoid the dangers of smoke inhalation and exposure include:

  • Try to quit smoking for the safety of your baby*
  • Do not smoke while pregnant
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your baby
  • Encourage family members and friends to quit smoking
  • Do not smoke in or allow anyone else to smoke in your home
  • If a family member smokes, ask them to smoke outside and to change their clothes before seeing your baby, as toxic chemicals from smoking stay on clothing
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your car, even if the windows are down
  • Use a smoke-free day care center and choose babysitters that don't smoke

*Are you interested in taking the next steps to quit using tobacco? The Ohio Tobacco Quit Line can help. Visit Ohio Tobacco Program or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more information.

As part of our work at FYC, we support Tobacco 21, an effort to increase the minimum age to 21 to buy tobacco and smoking-related products. Learn more about Tobacco 21 here.


CDC Fact Sheet 
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The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke 
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