In healthy people -- coughing is the body's natural way of protecting the lungs from chemicals and dust.
However, breathing in secondhand smoke can impair kids' cough reflexes -- making them more vulnerable to pneumonia and bronchitis.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia tested how much chili pepper it would take to make children and teens cough.
Those exposed to secondhand smoke needed to breathe in -double- the amount of chili pepper to start coughing than those never exposed to secondhand smoke.
From the release: "an insensitive cough reflex could increase the risk of adolescents acquiring a smoking habit by making experimentation with smoking less unpleasant."