Not smoking is the best thing to do to help prevent pneumonia. People who smoke are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia and children whose parents smoke are at a higher risk for pneumonia.
Some of the germs that can cause pneumonia are easily spread from person to person. They are carried in the nose and throat of an infected person. When an infected person coughs, they spray drops of infected saliva (spit) into the air around them. A person who breathes in that air can get pneumonia.
There are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting pneumonia:
- Wash your hands properly and often
- Throw away used tissues
- Don't share cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Get your flu shot each year
- Get your pneumococcal shot (some people may need it every five years — ask your doctor)
Limper AH. Overview of pneumonia. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 97.