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Global Initiative To Protect Children From Secondhand Smoke
Date:1/29/2008

Effort Focuses on Dangers of Parental Smoking in Homes and Cars

GENEVA, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- It's a staggering statistic: 700 million children - almost half of the world's youth - breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke. People who smoke in confined spaces like the home or the car subject others to a dangerous mix of toxins including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and cyanide, even when the windows are open. Second-hand smoke exposes children to chronic health risks:

-- Increases a baby's risk of dying suddenly from unexplained causes

-- Contributes to low birth weight in newborns and harms lung development

-- Causes bronchitis and pneumonia in young adults

-- Increases the risk of ear infections, asthma, coughing and wheezing

among school-aged children

These health threats underscore the need for parents to protect the children from secondhand smoke. In the first global initiative of its kind, the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and members around the world will lead an initiative to promote smoke-free environments for children. "I love my smoke-free childhood" launches on World Cancer Day, 4 February, with these messages for parents:

-- Avoid smoking at home or in a car

-- Caution children to stay away from secondhand smoke and places that

allow smoking

-- Teach children there is no safe level of secondhand smoke

-- Do not smoke while pregnant or near someone who is pregnant

-- Use a smoke-free daycare center

-- If you are a smoker, ask your doctor what you can do to stop

-- Become a role model for your child - do not smoke

To back these messages, UICC is publishing a 40-page expert report, "Protecting our children against secondhand smoke".

"I love my smoke-free childhood" is the first focus within the World Cancer Campaign, a five-year cancer-prevention effort launched on World Cancer Day 2007. The Campaign offers parent
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SOURCE International Union Against Cancer
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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