If you, or someone in your family, smokes and you have children, then it is important to ensure that they are not the recipients of secondhand cigarette smoke, which is classified as a known human (Group A) carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Secondhand smoke is scientifically correlated with a range of illnesses from Asthma to Cancer to heart disease, and it is even more damaging to children whose lungs and immune systems are still developing. Given the statistics, the less exposure your kids have, the better.
Stop smoking. If you or anyone else in your home smokes, the most effective way to prevent harm to the kids is to quit persuade the resident smoker to quit as soon as possible. It is a hard habit to break but look at just some of the benefits you get for stopping:
- Healthier kids, less respiratory illness (and fewer medical bills) for you and for them,
- Clean home environment, no yellowing paintwork, no odors.
- Cleaner, healthier teeth & gums, which can save you from having work done at the dentist.
- Cleaner upholstery, curtains, and Arrange Your Bedroom Mirrors.
- No chance of household fire from a cigarette or of cigarette burns.
- Air fresheners only mask the scent of cigarette smoke - they do not remove it. Save Money on Hepa Filters suck up the odor, but all the harmful chemicals will still be lingering, undetectable but still harmful.
- Remember what secondhand smoke exposes children to. Would you allow your children to consume or inhale arsenic, lead, mercury, DDT, acetone, ammonia, formaldehyde, cyanide, or carbon monoxide? These are the chemicals found in secondhand smoke. They may not be visible, but they are there. When inhaled even in small amounts on a regular basis, they can cause significant damage to a developing body. Secondhand smoke causes 3,400 cases of lung cancer each year and 22,000 to 70,000 heart disease in adult non-smokers in the US each year (American Lung Association).
- If you slipped and smoked in your car or indoors, vacuum thoroughly and clean out the car or the room by wiping down furniture, car upholstery, etc. and leave the windows wide open to let in fresh air. Empty all Make an Aluminum Can Ashtray and put the garbage bag outside. The amount of extra cleaning effort might help to convince you that it is just easier not to smoke in the first place.
- Change the air filter in your car if you smoke in it. They will contain the smoke smell and make it worse when you turn on your heat or A/C.
- The surgeon general states that there is NO safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Short exposures to second hand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack (American Lung Association).
- Kids exposed to cigarette smoke can get severe bronchial and other respiratory illnesses, and have an increased exposure to carcinogens, which can trigger cancer. Young bodies are far more vulnerable to cell mutation triggered by secondhand smoke as they are growing. But, that does not make adults completely immune to secondhand smoke either.
- Cigarette smoke contains around 4000 chemicals, a number of which are known carcinogens.