Family and Friends
Smokers are used to being told they should quit the habit by their non-smoking family and close friends. Quitting can mean a lot to a smoker's spouse and children. But giving up cigarettes doesn't only make loved ones happy; it can also improve their health. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, 46,000 people die every year from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke, and 3,000 non-smokers die from smoking-related lung cancer [source: National Cancer Institute]. Secondhand smoke, the smoke that non-smokers breathe in when they are close to smokers, is most harmful for those who are exposed to smoking regularly. Most often, that means children and spouses of smokers are at the greatest risk. Children who live in a home where someone smokes are more likely to develop chronic respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. Even without considering the dangers of secondhand smoke, children with at least one smoking parent are more likely to begin smoking later in life. That risk goes down if the parent quits before the child grows up [source: Gilman].