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Q: My parents have smoked all their lives. I've told them how I hate it and recently they agreed not to smoke around me. How bad is secondhand smoke and could I have cancer from it?

A: It's great that you've been able to share with your parents how you feel about their smoking. A next step might be to ask your doctor about programs that help adults to quit smoking, and then pass this information to your folks.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is not nearly as bad as if you were smoking yourself, and smoking-related cancer is extremely rare among teens. While not smoking around you is a good first step, it would be even better for your entire family if your parents agreed not to smoke indoors at all.

To have TeenGrowth's board of physicians answer your health question, visit the Web site ( or e-mail

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