Did you Know?
Have you ever breathed in the smoke that curls up from the tip of someone else’s cigarette? Or the smoke exhaled by a smoker? If so, then you have breathed most of the same harmful, cancer-causing parts of smoke inhaled by smokers. This called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ets
). As a nonsmoker breathing the smoke from others, you are at risk for the same illnesses as smokers. Ventilation (airing out a room or opening a window) does not reduce the health risks of secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke is classified as a “Group A” cancer-causing agent. That means that no level of smoke is known to be safe. Therfore
; federal agencies recommend exposure to secondhand smoke be
reduced to the lowest possible levels.
1200 non-smoking Missourians die annually due to secondhand smoke.
Children who live with smokers are more likely to have health problems such as:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Slowed lung growth
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Acute respiratory infections
- Ear problems
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks
In addition, each year in the United States, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for the 150,000 – 300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children younger than 18 months old. This results in 7,500 – 15,000 hospitalizations each year.
- Encourage your worksite to be smoke free
- Eat at restaurants that are smoke free
- Staying in motel/hotels that are smoke free
- If you smoke–QUIT
Set Yourself Free
If you quit, you’ll live longer and stay healthier – and so will your family. When you quit smoking, you will start showing signs of physical recovery almost immediately
Effects of quitting after:
- 20 minutes
Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours
The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months
Circulation improves. Your lung function increases up to 30 percent.
- 1 to 9 months
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia regain normal functions in the lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.
- 1 year
Your risk of having coronay artery disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 years
Five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
- 10 years
Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a continuing smoker; risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
- 15 years
Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.
Stop by the Health Department for your free “Quit Kit”.