Secondhand Smoke in Your Home

May 07 00:00 2001 Print This Article

We spend more time in our homes than anywhere else. So the thought of cancer-causing chemicals circulating throughout our houses and apartments can be quite unsettling. Yet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, that is exactly what happens when someone lights a cigarette in your home.

Those most affected by secondhand smoke are children. Because their bodies are still developing, exposure to the poisons in secondhand smoke puts children in danger of severe respiratory diseases and can hinder the growth of their lungs. On top of that, the effects can last a lifetime.

Ventilation systems in homes cannot filter and circulate air well enough to eliminate secondhand smoke. Blowing smoke away from children, going into another room to smoke, or opening a window may help reduce childrens exposure but will not protect them from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Benefits of a Smoke-Free Home

The greatest benefit, of course, is that you will remove all the health risks associated with secondhand tobacco smoke. Plus

  • When your home is smoke-free, it will smell much better.

  • Your food will taste better.

  • Youll spend less time, energy, and money cleaning your curtains, walls, windows, and mirrors.

  • Your insurance rates may be lower--check with your insurance company.

  • Even your pets will be happier. For example, secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer in dogs.

How to Make (and Keep) Your Home Smoke-Free

  • It may feel awkward at first to tell people not to smoke in your home--no one wants to make guests uncomfortable--but if you simply explain the facts about secondhand smoke, they should understand completely. Tell them that for the sake of your familys health, you simply cannot allow smoking in your home. Have gum or mints available as an alternative to lighting up. If visitors absolutely must smoke, tell them they can do so outside.

  • If someone in your household smokes, be sympathetic and understanding--but encourage him or her to quit. Let that person know that cigarette smoke affects everyone, not just the smoker. Let them know you care and you want to help. Again, if someone absolutely must smoke, ask that person to do so outside.
Dont Forget Schools and Day Care

  • Make sure your childs school and day care programs are smoke-free. And insist that babysitters not smoke around your children.


Source: CPSC

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