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AAP Calls for Smoke-Free Environments for World Cancer Day

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its 60,000 member pediatricians join the International Union Against Cancer in its World Cancer Day initiative Monday, February 4, to promote smoke-free environments for children worldwide.

"There is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure," said Renee R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. "There is absolutely no safe way to smoke around children. Smoking in another room is not safe. Smoking near an open window does not reduce the danger. Tobacco toxins spread throughout the house and remain in the environment even after a cigarette is extinguished."

For children, the health risks of secondhand smoke are even greater than they are for adults. Tobacco smoke puts young children at risk for increased rates of asthma and more severe asthma, and it increases the risk of pneumonia, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.

Last month, the World Health Organization reported that almost half of the world's children are exposed to second-hand smoke. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges all who care about children to help eliminate children's exposure to tobacco smoke by helping parents quit. The AAP urges parents to adopt strict no-smoking policies everywhere a child spends time -- at home and at school, in babysitters' homes, in day care centers and in cars.

The AAP thanks the International Union Against Cancer for its continued leadership in efforts to reduce children's exposure to tobacco, and is pleased to see increasing recognition of the need to protect children and teens from the largest avoidable cause of death worldwide. Only together can we eliminate tobacco and secondhand smoke from children's lives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP Julius B. Richmond Center, a national center of excellence funded by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, is dedicated to the elimination of children's exposure to tobacco. The center is named for pediatrician and former Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond.

SOURCE American Academy of Pediatrics
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