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HomeAnswersToxicologysudden infant death syndromeCan SIDS occur in a baby after a single incident of smoking?

I failed to notice a woman and a baby next to me when I was smoking. Will that baby die of SIDS?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Vivek Chail

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 3, 2015
Reviewed AtSeptember 27, 2022

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I smoke, and I usually avoid smoking around other people. However, I work at a hospital, and I went outside the hospital, and I lit up a cigarette. I did not notice that there was a woman with a baby, and I stood near them smoking for quite a few seconds. Now I am worried that the baby might die of SIDS, and it will be my fault. Is this possible?

Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Please find my observations below.

Second-hand smoke or passive smoking can cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) only in infants who are exposed to such smoke regularly and in a closed environment like their house. Your cigarette smoking was an isolated event and unlikely to influence the health of the baby in any significant manner.

Cigarette smoking in the open dilutes the harmful gases in the atmosphere and if you smoked only for a few seconds then the baby's health will not be compromised even if the baby has inhaled a small amount of the smoke. Please be assured that your action will not harm the baby in any way. In conclusion, you can forget the incident as a small error and stop feeling guilty about the entire episode.

Hope this answers your question.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vivek Chail
Dr. Vivek Chail

General Practitioner

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