Half of the Shanghai children are suffering from secondhand smoke, according to a new research.
The figures, released by Shanghai Children's Medical Center, showed that about 45 percent of children suffer passive smoking in families, 50 percent in public places, and almost 6 percent on public transportation.
Health experts warned that secondhand smoke can lead to colds, coughs and sore throats. Also, dangerous diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia and cancer cannot be ruled out.
They further pointed out secondhand smoking causes behavioral problems and children may not develop mentally as quickly as their peers, reports the China Daily.
Tang Jingyan, a doctor at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center, said: "Not only adults but also children and newborn babies are at risk for the adverse effects of passive smoking.
"Actually, those young children whose bodies are still growing and developing are more sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke."
Another research by the Shanghai Children's Medical Center observed that more than 80 percent of child patients in the center live in a smoke-filled household, where one or both parents smoke.
A pediatrician named Zhang Yiwen said: "Though doctors have stressed the harm of passive smoking over and over, it is still hard to reach a totally 'smoke free' home,"
According to the study, China has 540 million people suffering from passive smoke, 180 million of them younger than 15.