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Health Tip: Secondhand smoke

By: Spencer
No parent would hand their child a cigarette, but many people don’t realize that smoking around your children or other loved ones is about as bad as allowing them to smoke themselves. Cigarette smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths caused by secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke refers to the smoke from burning cigarettes pipes or cigars, as well as the smoke that’s been breathed out by the smoker. Both are harmful to kids and adults – in fact, even a brief exposure to secondhand smoke can impact your health.
Kids exposed to secondhand smoke may experience:
·         Ear infections
·         More frequent and severe asthma attacks
·         Breathing problems like coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath
·         Respiratory infections like bronchitis or pneumonia
Eventually, adults exposed to secondhand smoke can develop
·         Heart disease
·         Lung cancer
·         Stroke
Follow these tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from secondhand smoke.
·         Try to quit smoking if you’re a smoker
·         Do not allow smoking in or near your home or car, even with the windows down
·         Ensure your child’s daycare and schools are tobacco-free
·         Seek out restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking
·         Teach your kids to avoid secondhand smoke
Unfortunately, tobacco is addictive and smoking can be a tough habit to kick. One of the best ways to quit and ensure it sticks is to seek support from a professional smoking cessation program or the national tobacco quit line: 1-800-QUIT NOW.
Thinking of quitting smoking? Set up your free consultation with one of Adventist HealthCare’s Tobacco Cessation Program counselors.