Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), can have an impact on child custody decisions. The possible consequences of parental smoking in a custody case can range from termination of parental rights or a change of custody and restrictions on visitation to the smoking parent receiving custody with smoking restrictions and a requirement for follow up reports to the court.First, here are a few facts about secondhand smoke that courts have already taken judicial notice of.
- Secondhand smoke consists of mainstream smoke exhaled from a smoker's lungs and sidestream smoke that comes directly from the burning tobacco.
- Secondhand smoke comes from all tobacco products, including pipe tobacco and cigars.
- Secondhand smoke is a Class A carcinogen. That puts it in a class with 15 other substances, including asbestos, radon and benzene, that are known to cause cancer in human beings.
- Secondhand smoke contains 4,000 substances with more than 40 of them known to cause cancer and many of them known to be strong irritants to human tissues and organs. Examples of these substances are: carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia, nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, benzo[a]pyrene, dimethylnitrosamine, tar, formaldehyde, and beta-naphthylamine.
- The chemicals in secondhand smoke damage cell DNA.
- Children, especially infants and toddlers, exposed to secondhand smoke have more lower respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and are more likely to be hospitalized during the first two years of their lives for a serious lung problem.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --