Nunavut's chief coroner reminds residents not to smoke cannabis around kids

Infants and young children exposed to the smoke are sick more often than children who are not. They are at risk for pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, ongoing coughing and breathing problems.

Padma Suramala warns of the risks of second-hand smoke, especially for children

Padma Suramala says it's the responsibility of her office to warn residents about dangerous practices. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

Nunavut's chief coroner is reminding Nunavummiut that infants and children are at an increased risk of health problems from exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke.

Padma Suramala says it's the responsibility of her office to warn residents of dangerous practices, including exposure to second-hand smoke.

She says infants and young children exposed to second-hand smoke are sick more often than children who are not. They are at increased risk for pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, ongoing coughing and breathing problems — even death.

Before handling a baby, she suggests anyone who has been smoking marijuana wash their hands and mouth. She also says women who are breastfeeding should not smoke.

This warning comes about six months before marijuana is slated to be legalized nationwide.

The government of Nunavut has yet to release its plan for how the drug will be regulated in the territory. It is the only jurisdiction, aside from Saskatchewan, not to have announced a plan.

With files from Jordan Konek