Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
The amount of Americans who are exposed to secondhand smoke has decreased by nearly half in the past 12 years, reports the CDC.
The decline— from 53 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2012—is due to many cities and states banning cigarettes in public areas, which has also led smoking to become increasingly less socially accepted.
But secondhand smoke is not entirely a thing of the past—1 in 4 nonsmokers (or 58 million Americans) are still being exposed to these harmful chemicals.
And even more alarming is this statistic: 2 in 5 children, between the ages of 3 and 11, are still exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts also estimate that secondhand smoke has caused more than 400 infants to die from SIDS each year.
“Children are often exposed to smoke in their homes, and the report speculated that the sluggish decline in exposure of children might have to do with the fact that the fall in the adult smoking rate has slowed,” reports The New York Times.
Infants and children are dependent on others to keep them out of harm’s way, so avoid smoking and exposing them to secondhand smoke at all costs—especially if they suffer from asthma—and everyone will be healthier as a result.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: NO Smoking via Shutterstock
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Monday, October 31st, 2011
More than 100 playgrounds across the city of Boston are about to receive signs prohibiting smoking on the grounds. The signs read, “Children at Play, No Smoking,” and they are intended, The Boston Globe reports, to protect children from the harmful effects of second hand smoke, including asthma attacks, respiratory infections, lung cancer, and heart disease.
The signs are not legally binding; there are no new laws or city ordinances that prohibit smoking at playgrounds. But Boston’s mayor says the signs will empower parents to keep smokers at a distance from play areas.
“I know that nothing we put on the law books could be as strong as a parent who is trying to protect their kids from secondhand smoke and cigarette debris,’’ Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.
Similar initiatives are under way in 570 countries nationwide, the Globe reported.
Boston’s Public Health Commission cited studies suggesting that sitting outdoors a mere 3 feet from a smoker can expose a child to the same amount of second-hand smoke as sitting indoors in the same room with someone who is smoking. Other studies reported incidents of children being burned because lit cigarettes are held at a child’s eye level while they are running around a playground.
(image via: http://www.palmarsh.kent.sch.uk/)
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