(Brampton) - Peel Public Health is asking smokers to smoke outside and not in enclosed spaces such as homes and vehicles to protect themselves and others from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Second-hand smoke can reach very high levels in small, enclosed spaces like vehicles. It also spreads through all rooms of a house - even with doors closed and windows open - and harms the health of everyone exposed to it.
“Exposure to second-hand smoke is unhealthy for anyone, and even more so for children,” says Donna Kern, Tobacco Prevention Supervisor. “Children have smaller lungs and breathe more rapidly than adults, making them more vulnerable to the ill effects of second-hand smoke. It’s up to parents and caregivers to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke.”
The effects of exposure to second-hand smoke for children include increased risk of developing asthma, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Infants are also at greater risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Second-hand smoke is known to cause heart disease and lung cancer in adults.
“There is no safe amount of exposure to second-hand smoke,” adds Kern. “The only way to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke in your home or vehicle is to make those spaces completely smoke-free.”.
Here are a few tips to help protect yourself and others from second-hand smoke:
- Let family, friends and visitors know smoking is not allowed in your home or vehicle by displaying smoke-free decals or signs
- Remove ashtrays from your home and vehicle
- Create a designated space outside your home for smoking that is away from doors and windows
Smokers who are interested in quitting smoking can attend one of Peel Public Health’s free Quit Smoking Clinics. For more information on smoking cessation or to book your free appointment, call 905-799-7700 or toll-free from Caledon at 905-584-2216.
For more information on smoke-free homes and vehicles, visit smokefree-peelregion.ca.