OUR KIDS ARE FUMING. Inhaling secondhand smoke spells trouble. Just ask the approximately 1 in 5 kids in Ontario who suffer from asthma each year because they are routinely exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes, family cars or vacation accommodations. In fact, passive smoking is also a major culprit when it comes to ear infections, breathing problems, SIDS and various other conditions.
The Lung Association’s Smoke-Free Environments and Asthma program addresses the problem of smoking and second-hand smoke exposure as a cause of asthma symptoms. This program links asthma, smoking prevention and education efforts at the community level.
The purpose of the Smoke-Free Environments and Asthma program is to increase the number of homes that are smoke-free in Ontario and to raise awareness of second-hand smoke as a trigger for asthma. Those at greatest risk are children, teens and adults who have asthma and live in homes where smoking is allowed.
Smoke-free environments can include:
- Outdoor patios
- Child care facilities
- Motor vehicles with children inside
- Enclosed workplaces
- Smoking shelters
- Areas where home health care workers work
- Hospitals (public, private, and psychiatric facility)
- Common areas of hotels, motels, and inns
- Multi-unit residences (you must not smoke in any common areas of condos, apartment buildings or college and university residences)
- Residential care facilities
- Schools (public and private school property)
- Children’s playgrounds and publicly on sports fields
- Increases the risk for colds, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia
- Causes more symptoms and increases the risk for attacks in people with asthma
- Increases the risk of developing asthma in children
- Increases the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
For more information and to order window decals for your home and car, order our resource “Make your home smoke free”.
Most people know the dangers from smoking and second-hand smoke. But what about third-hand smoke? The invisible toxic mixture of chemicals that make up third-hand smoke sticks around long after a cigarette is put out.
Third-hand smoke can be found:
- On hair, body, clothes of someone who smokes
- In carpets and furniture
- On floors and walls
- In vehicles
- On children’s toys
Children are at a much higher risk of exposure to third-hand smoke. They spend more time on floors and put their hands to their mouths often. They have more contact with surfaces where the toxins have settled, such as the floor or furniture.
Using scented products or air fresheners doesn’t get rid of it. They only mask the smell by adding another layer of chemicals to what is already there. The smoke from even one cigarette smoked anywhere indoors will eventually reach all areas of the home.
For the health of everyone, keep the air clean by banning smoking in your home and vehicle. Ask people who smoke to take it outside every time. If you smoke, think about quitting.