Tuesday, October 1, 2013

“I Am a Smoke-Free Zone”

Jefferson County Public Health is proud to help launch “I Am A Smoke-Free Zone,” a new education campaign with a focus on limiting children’s exposure to secondhand smoke. “The campaign’s message that children are “smoke-free zones” is important,” said Donna Viverette, JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative Supervisor. She also stated, “We know secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone and that children are often the innocent bystanders. This campaign reminds people to protect kids by not smoking around them and helping them to avoid others’ tobacco smoke as well.”

The campaign focuses on common myths about secondhand smoke:
  1. The myth that blowing your smoke out a window or door prevents secondhand smoke exposure, 
  2. The myth that ventilation in a home or car is a good strategy, 
  3. The myth that room deodorizers can minimize risk, and 
  4. The myth that if it’s not enough to smoke in another room, open windows, and get rid of the odor, then the only other option is to quit.
According to Viverette, “The only way to fully protect children against secondhand smoke is to make cars and homes 100% smoke-free and never smoke around children,” said Viverette.

In children aged 18 months or younger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually and approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States.

For more information on how to protect children from secondhand smoke go to IAmASmoke-FreeZone.org or visit Tobacco-Free Jeffco online.

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