Get Healthy Carson City: Second-hand smoke – it’s worse than you thought
For the Nevada Appeal
Q: What are the dangers of second-hand smoke?
A: The more we discover about second-hand smoke, the worse it is. Scientists have learned plenty, and whether you are young or not so young, the dangers of second-hand smoke are serious and indisputable.
Some of the dangers of second-hand smoke seem obvious. For example, you are probably not surprised that, according to the Surgeon General:
• Babies are hurt by second-hand smoke
• Second-hand smoke is a known cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
• Second-hand smoke causes low birth weight and lung problems in babies
• Children whose parents smoke get sick more often
• Second-hand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer
But you may not know that:
• No amount of second-hand smoke is safe
• Being in a building where people are smoking is unsafe, regardless of “ventilation systems”
• Riding in a car while someone is smoking – even with an open window – is unsafe
• Children of smokers are twice as likely to become smokers
When it’s all said and done, if a person near you is smoking, it is like you are smoking, too. There is no safe amount of second-hand smoke. Even a little can be dangerous. Take control of your air and protect your health.
CALL TO ACTION
Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage each of us to do what we can to make our environment smoke-free. What can you do?
• Make your home and car smoke-free: Visitors may smoke outside if they must, but not indoors. Put an ugly butt can out by the garbage bins for their convenience.
• Choose restaurants and bars that are smoke-free. Thank them for being smoke-free.
• Let owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that smoke bothers you. Tell them a “no smoking” section is not good enough.
• Ask people not to smoke around you and your children.
For the past eight weeks, health services has conducted a brief “Smoke-Free Parks and Events” online survey. Four questions asked about preferences for smoke- or tobacco-free parks and events in Carson City.
Results indicate that 94 percent of respondents support having “a tobacco-free park in your community”; 72 percent would be “more likely to use a tobacco-free park”; 70 percent would be more likely “to attend an event at a tobacco-free park”; and 83 percent would be more likely to “take your children/grandchildren to a tobacco-free park.”
“KIDS KICK TOBACCO” IS THIS SATURDAY
“Kids Kick Tobacco” is a quit-tobacco event this Saturday organized by CCHHS and a local business. Everyone is invited to come to Carson ATA Black Belt Academy, where from 10-11:30 a.m., various exhibitions and presentations will take place, including martial arts demonstrations and tobacco prevention talks. WNC baseball players will be on hand to meet and greet. Fun activities and raffle prizes round out the day. http://www.carsonata.com.
“This event will help give kids the skills and experience to confidently make good decisions and say no to harmful things,” said Shawn Goodner, owner of Carson ATA. “It’s important that parents participate with the kids so they start this process together as a family.”
Check out our new website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us on Facebook.
• Pam Graber is the public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services.