Campaign in Colorado to Reveal Myths About Secondhand Smoke


Due to the fact that secondhand smoke is responsible for almost 300,000 new cases of pneumonia and bronchitis in kids aged 18 months and younger in the USA, a coalition of Colorado county health departments decided to start an”I Am a Smoke-Free Zone”.

The campaign aims to reveal next myths about secondhand smoke:
– blowing smoke out a window prevents secondhand smoke exposure;
– room deodorizers minimize risks;
– ventilation in a home or car is good strategy;
– quitting is the only way to protect kids.

The coalition is coordinated by Denver Public Health (DPH) and supported by Amendment 35 funds. The amendment was accepted by Colorado voters in 2004. There was established a tax increase on cigarettes and other tobacco products and the revenue goes to health care services and tobacco education to improve the health of all Colorado citizens.

DPH director Bill Burman says there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. He says that exposure to kids causes more often acute respiratory infections, asthma attacks and ear infections. Stacy Weinberg, director of epidemiology, planning and communication with Tri-County Health Department in Greenwood Village considers that secondhand smoke presents a danger for kids.

The anti-smoking campaign emphasizes that parents who smoke cigarettes must step outside  from others in order  to reduce the risk of smoke drift and to avoid modeling smoking behavior.

Studies found that 22% of teenagers younger than 18 years are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. Studies made by The Centers for Disease Control, American Cancer Society and U. S. Department of Health and Human Services reveal that a nonsmoker’s risk of lung cancer increases 30% when he lives with  person who smokes in the home.  Major goal of the campaign is to provide information for the parents and educate them to prevent their children from tobacco smoke.

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