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Quitting Smoking Can Be a Parent's Best New Year's Resolution
Date:12/16/2008

ippi State University. The Social Climate Survey of Tobacco has been tracking trends in attitudes about smoking, secondhand smoke, and other tobacco-related social issues over the past eight years.

According to the survey, 42 percent of parents report that their child had been exposed to secondhand smoke anywhere in the past seven days (in public places, a car, or at home). The news is particularly worrisome for children of smokers: 63.4% of smoking parents reported that their child had been exposed to any secondhand smoke in the past week. When asked about exposure in their home and car specifically, 27% and 21% reported that their child had been exposed to secondhand smoke in their home and vehicle, respectively. Compare that to only 4.3% and 1% of nonsmoking parents, and one can see a clear disparity. The researchers say that while 75 percent of U.S households prohibit smoking in the home and car, 25 percent of American homes are still unprotected.

"Today's research reinforces the importance of providing quit smoking resources to parents," said Dr. Cheryl Healton, President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. "Their addiction directly impacts the health and future of their children and we hope that many parents will commit their time energy into this resource."

The effects of secondhand smoke are serious and should not be minimized. It is estimated that secondhand smoke exposure causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States. Young children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at a higher risk of developing asthma, ear infections, and cavities. Infants are at a higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to helping eliminate tobacco and secondhand smoke from children's lives. "As pediatricians, we must help make tobacco use a t
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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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