Second Hand Smoke
Why should I care?
When you breathe secondhand smoke, it's as if you are smoking.
Secondhand smoke, a combination of the smoke in the air from burning tobacco and the smoke exhaled by a person who is smoking, poses a health threat to everyone who comes in contact with it.
• Secondhand smoke contains over 250 chemicals known to be toxic or cancer-causing. Because a child's body is still growing, these chemicals are especially dangerous to children, elders, and peopel with frail health issues.
• Secondhand smoke has been designated as a human cancer-causing agent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
• Kids exposed to 2nd hand smoke experience more ear problems, severe asthma, and respiratory infections than other kids.
Breathing secondhand smoke increases the chances of getting lung cancer by 20-30%, and it damages the lining of blood vessels, changes that can eventually cause a heart attack.
Maine has passed laws making out-door eating areas, cars containing kids under the age of 16, and many public places smoke-free so its residents aren't exposed to the toxins in 2nd hand smoke.
Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to develop ear infections, allergies, bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma. It can even lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Older children whose parents smoke get sick more often. They get more bronchitis and pneumonia, and experience more wheezing and coughing. It can trigger asthma attacks and increase instances of painful ear infections.
If you are a smoker, you can protect your family by making your home and vehicles smoke-free and only smoking outside.
Check at http://www.smokefreeforme.org for more information for landlords and tenants and for free signage. You can find smoke free housing listings at www.mainehousingsearch.org