The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for smokers to join together and quit smoking for 24 hours. On Nov. 20, smokers across Team Hill are asked to quit smoking and protect family, friends, children and pets from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Most people know the health risks of smoking, but smoking not only affects the smoker’s health, it also poses significant risks to others. Secondhand smoke contains over 250 chemicals that are harmful to anyone exposed, leading to serious health risks.
Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children, who are still developing, growing and learning. Each year, secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory infections in infants and children under 18 months. Pregnant women, who are exposed to secondhand smoke, are more likely to have low-birth weight babies and children are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome.
“You may be thinking to yourself, but what if I don’t smoke in my house, are my children still at risk?” said Paul Fitzpatrick, program director for Quit Tobacco — UCanQuit2.org. “The answer is yes. Even brief contact with secondhand smoke is hazardous and can even be passed from toxins on clothing. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”
It’s not just the humans in a household that are affected by secondhand smoke, but pets also have an increased risk of developing lung and nasal cancer. Both cats and dogs are more susceptible to allergy and respiratory problems in smoking households.
The easiest way to reduce the harm of secondhand smoke to loved ones is to quit tobacco. Commit to quit by joining the movement during the upcoming Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20 and quit smoking for 24 hours. In preparation to go smoke-free, visit www.UCanQuit2.org for quit resources, tobacco cessation information and live support.
In support of the Great American Smokeout, Hill AFB’s Health Promotions is sponsoring a Turkey Trot 5K noon on Nov. 20. Registration is not required. For more information about the Great American Smokeout or the Turkey Trot, contact Health Promotions at 801-777-1215.