Tag Archives: secondhand smoke

UK: Fewer Kids Exposured to Secondhand Smoke at Homes

Smoking at Home

New study reveals that in the UK kids exposure to secondhand smoke was significantly reduced since 1998.

The results of the study may be found in the scientific journal Addiction. In the new study the researchers found that in England, kid’s exposure to secondhand smoke has declined by around 80 percent since 1998.

These are the positive effects of banning smoking inside homes. The move turned to be beneficial not only for kids but also for non-smoking adults. The number of children living in smoke-free homes raised from 63% in 1998 to 87.3% in 2012.

For the research scientists collected data from around 35,000 kids participating each year in Health Survey for England (HSE) starting from 1998 to 2012. Scientists took from them saliva in order to make tests and determine in it the presence of cotinine, a nicotine derivative.

Body absorbs inhaled nicotine and transforms it into cotinine. The substance stays in the body for a longer period of time compared to nicotine and provides important information about the amount of inhaled nisotine in recent days.

At the end of 80s, the average amount of cotinine in saliva of non-smoking kids was  0.96 ng/ml. By 1998, that number was reduced to 0.52 ng/ml, and by 2012 it was reduced to 0.11 ng/ml. In 2012 more than two thirds of kids showed a drop of cotinine levels.

Five years ago, the UK Government said that it plans to reduce by two thirds smoking homes by 2020. However, data shows that the aim will be achieved much earlier.

Hammond City Wants to Eliminate Smoking in Public Places

Smoking Man

This week in the city of Hammond, Louisiana, are taking place public hearings on the proposal to prohibit smoking in public spaces and all workplaces.

The proposal to adopt such a smoking ban came on April 7 and aims to protect people from effects of secondhand smoke.

The proposal includes smoking ban in private cluns, motel and hotel rooms, shopping malls, 5 feet of public buildings, recreational areas. In case the ban would be adopted, the reposnsability of its enforcement will lie totally on police. People caught smoking in prohibited places would pay a fine of $50.

In case a business violates the law by allowing smoking in its establishment, it would be subjected to a fine of $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second offence and $500 for third offence. In case of multiple violations the establishment may even lose its license.

Mark Franatovich, owner of Perfectly Fit Sports, told he supports the proposed smoking ban because he owns fitness store and health screening company. He is a big fan of healthy lifestyle and dislikes smoking. Most of all he worries that the smoking ban would not be enforced accordingly.

The University of Michigan analyzed the effects of the May 2010 Smoke Free Air Law and revealed that smoking ban in restaurants and bars had not affected businesses.

Hammond  is not the only American city which wants to totally eliminate tobacco smoke from public places. Such cities as New York, San Antonio, Chicago and San Jose are also fighting smoking with same methods. The experience of New York city showed that when smoking was banned in restaurants, the nicotine levels dropped there by 85%.

Experts claim that best way to protect workers from secondhand smoke exposure is to ban smoking at workplaces.

According to the Louisiana Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in 2013, in the Hammond area 85.3% of adults are nonsmokers.

Raise of Awarness about Secondhand Smoke in Kent County

Smoking in Car

Kent County Council in England   said it supports the campaign launched by Pubic Health England to inform people about the hidden negative effects which secondhand smoke may cause to kid’s health. It comes right after the Government prohibited tobacco use in cars where children are present.

Experts claim that secondhand smoke is especially bad to kids and teens, because they do inhale tobacco smoke more rapidly. Due to the fact that their airways are only developing, kids should be expecially prevented from tobacco smoke.

It was extimated that anually around 300,000 kids exposed to secondhand smoke do address to GP consultations and 9,500 are even hospitalized.

In Kent there is registered high smoking rate and data shows that it is even highter than the average across England. Moreover, it is high among pregnant women, particular ethnic groups, routine and manual workers.  Totally there are 240,000 smoing people in Kent.

It was found that smoking habit costs to Kent almost £406million every year, which includes £49million in direct costs to the NHS and £19.5million in social care costs.

Data shows that in England, totally three million kids are exposed to secondhand smoke in cars where their parents smoke. Namely this increases risks of getting  meningitis, asthma and respiratory infections.

British Lung Foundation conducted a survey which showed that 86% of kids who are exposed to smoking in cars would like to ask the smoker to butt out. However, only 31% of them do really ask it.

Graham Gibbens from  Kent County Council isupports the campaign to raise awarness  among people about effects of secondhand smoke on kids. This will help to pretect young people from tobacco smoke.

Virginia: Fines for Exposing Kids to Tobacco Smoke

Smoking in Car

An official in the state of Virginia wants to protect kids from tobacco smoke in vehicles and proposed to introduce a bill which would make it an illegal action.

The talk is about Todd Pillion, who has filed House Bill 2171. The bill prohibits use of cigarettes in cars where kids under eight are present. Infringers will be subjected to a $100 fine, which would go into the state literacy fund.

Pillion is from public health department and sees often the negative effects of smoking in kids, He is a dentist elected in the course of a special election in December 2014. When asked what are the effects of secondhand smoke on kids, he answered that those kids are at high risk for ear problems, acute respiratory disease and asthma.

Pillion says that it is all about children and we must do our best to protect them from tobacco and its hazards. Adults and especially parents should become more responsable about their kids. They should be informed about the negative effects of secondhand smoke exposure and not light up in presence of children. Smoking-related diseases are preventable, therefore it is a priority of Ministry of Health. Moreover, prevention is cheaper than treatment.

The bill bans use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes in vehicles. However, allows use of e-cigarettes. The ban does not touch smoking in homes and in public, only vehicles.
Studies show that  secondhand smoke can be up to 27 times more concentrated in a car than in a smoker’s home, therefore more harmful.  However, in 2014 a similar bill failed in the General Assembly.

The bill awaits committee referral.

Kent County Discusses Smoking Ban in Parks

Smoking in Park

In the Kent County, Michigan, there was proposed to ban smoking in all parks.

At the moment the proposal is under the review of Council.

According to Keith Mumford, the county’s parks and recreation director, the smoking ban is going to touch only 6 city parks including Browns Branch Park in Harrington, Brecknock Park in Camden, Big Oak Park in Smyrna.

The smoking ban would touch cigars, cigarettes, snuff. However, it is unclear yet if e-cigarettes will be included too.

Over the year park many visitors adressed to the authorities a number of compalints regarding smoking in parks. Most of them were people with kids who come to parks to playgrounds and are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. Therfore, present smoking ban is welcomed by the majority of Kent county residents.

Kate, mother of Amanda, often come to their local park and last time she saw a man smoking on the other side of the fence and all tobacco smoke was going into the park. Kate wants that her kid along with other children to be protected in parks from tobacco smoke. But smokers say that there must be created designated areas where they could smoke their Winston cigarettes.

The authorities say that they are informed about the effects of secondhand smoke inhale and want everyone to be aware about it. Residents and visitors should inhale a pure and fresh air in public parks, and there must be no smoking permitted. Kids will be healthier if they grow on a healthy environment.

The county parks and recreation  department has developed programs for living healthy lives for the residents of all ages and smoking ban is part of it.

However, the fines for breaking the ban were not discussed yet. There is no official way in Kent county to fine violations and the authorities say that the offendors will be told to butt out.

Frisco Included E-cigarettes in Smoking Ban

Smoking in Parks

Yesterday City Council in Frisco, Texas, voted 3-2 to expand its smoking ordinance in order to protect the health of its citizens. The ordinance bans not only use of regular cigarettes but also e-cigarettes in all city parks.

However, the law would allow to use chewing tobacco, as the authorities did not build a consensus about them. The proposal of extending smoking ban came in February, but council members delayed their decision.

Council Member Scott Johnson feels solicitous about the fact that smoking ban was not extended to parks till now. Today the issue is a priority because health is the proprity.

These days many researchers speak about negative effects of secondhand smoke exposure, especially when the talk is about kids. Children must be protected from inhaling tobacco smoke at sporting events.

Council member Jeff Cheney every day plays in a city park with his three kids and often they are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. The problem of secondhand smoke exposure is very serious. Another problem is cigarette litter. However, chewing tobacco also represents a problem as smokers do spit it on the fields.

With the new anti-smoking ordinance Frisco joins cities of McKinney and Prosper which prohibit smoking in parks. According toAmerican Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, totally there are 965 cities in the USA that ban smoking in all city parks. But still there are large cities where smoking in parks is permitted, for example, in Dallas.

Councilmen opposing the initiative claim that smoking is a legal activity and in parks should be permitted. They proposed to ban smoking only near playgrounds and seating areas, but the idea was not supported by others. Also some council members wanted to not include e-cigarettes in the ban saying they are safe.

Residents Want to be Protected from Secondhand Smoke

Vintage Smoking Woman

Tuolumne County Public Health Department along with Calaveras Public Health Services revealed the results of a new survey which demonstrated that the majority of residents in multi-housing units do support the reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke.

59% of Tuolumne County and 64% of Calaveras County residents favored smoking bans in outdoor common areas of complexes. 56% of Calaveras County and 63% of Tuolumne County residents support the idea of banning smoking inside apartment units.

According to Todd Stolp, Tuolumne County Health Officer, prohibiting smoking cigarettes in multi-unit housing is a great initiative which will help to improve living conditions for residents and reduce maintenance and turnover costs.

Dean Kelaita, Calaveras County Health Officer, says no wonder that residents want to avoid tobacco smoke as studies showed that secondhand smoke is hazardous to health. Now more and more people want to be protected from exposure to secondhand smoke not only in public places but also in their apartments. Around 29% of Calaveras residents and 33% of Tuolumne residents surveyed told thay are living in a building with secondhand smoke entering into their unit in the past year.

There are no local laws in Calaveras County to restrict secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit buildings. In the State of California the statewide law bans smoking inside apartment common areas (community and laundry rooms). Back in 2006 secondhand smoke was classified as toxic air substance together with cyanide, arsenic and asbestos.

In the survey participated 12 counties in California and it was made by phone in the course of American Lung Association CA4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute.

Alaska to Expand Smoke-Free Workplace Laws

Smoking Woman

Last week supporters of Smoke-Free Indoor Workplace bill in Alaska told that it’s time to make smoke-free laws work in the entire state of Alaska. At the beginning of the week the proposed smoke-free law got a hearing with the Senate State Affairs Committee at the Capitol in Juneau.

If the law gets approved, it will ban smoking in all indoor businesses, workplaces and  public places. People will have to go outside to smoke. The law was proposed by Representative Lindsey Holmes in the House and Senator Peter Micciche in the Senate and is aimed to protect people from secondhand smoke.

American Heart Association, AARP, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Alaska Native Health Board encourage lawmakers to vote for the law as it will help to protect people from effects of secondhand smoke. Today secondhand smoke prevention is an important issue for authorities.

A great number of organizations and businesses already showed their support for the law by signing resolutions that they want statewide smoke-free workplaces.
Health experts say that annually secondhand smoke kills nearly 50,000 people in the USA. It was revealed in 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s report that even short time exposure to secondhand smoke may have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Inhaling of secondhand smoke prevents heart from normal functioning which increases risks for a heart attack.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says that short time exposure to secondhand smoke may lead to damage of lining of blood vessels.

The new law will also ban the use of e-cigarettes in indoor spaces, asking smokers to go and smoke it outside for the health of others.

Opponents of the law say that e-cigarettes are safe for surrounding persons, but  Marge Stoneking, Alaska Director of the American Lung Association, claims that besides nicotine e-cigarette secondhand aerosol contains heavy metals, tiny particulates and volatile organic compounds, which are risks for lung cancer.

How to Protect Your Family from Tobacco Smoke

Smoking

You probably heard about Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey Robinson, Smokey Bear. Those smoky personages were popular few decades ago but even today may be observed their impact on pop culture. Same thing is with second- and thirdhand smoke.

Recently researchers found that even in case a woman never smoked cigarettes, her lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke increases her risks for tubal ectopic pregnancy,  birth of a dead child and miscarriage. There were examined adults exposed to secondhand smoke at home for 20 or more years, kids exposed for 10 or more years and adults exposured at their workplace for 10 or more years.

Earlier scientists found that exposure to secondhand smoke may result in stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and asthma.

Secondhand smoke becomes thirdhand smoke when it enters various surfaces such ascarpets, fabric, wallboard, furniture. Children do ingest it when they put objects or hands with thirdhand smoke into their mouth. Namely this may damage their DNA.

What is the best way to protect your family from tobacco smoke? It is necessary to create a smoke-free environment at home. No smoking at home! How to convince your spose? Do with love, respect and understanding, be persistent and you will win.

In case you live in a state where smoking is banned at workplaces and restaurants, but you see that people still smoke there, then you should address your state representatives and complain about this public health issue.

In case at your home lived a smoker, you should remove all second- or thirdhand smoke by washing carpets, furniture lining, fabric, and even your kid’s toys.

If tobacco smoke enters your home from smoking neighbors via ventilation system, talk with them about finding an appropriate solution. Everyone deserves a smoke-free environment!

Smoking Inside Apartments to be Banned in San Mateo County

Smoking

Smoking inside apartments and other multiple housing units soon may be banned in San Mateo County, state of California.  The Board of Supervisors discussed recently the effects of secondhand smoke in order to return soon to smoking ban proposal.

The draft of proposed law had been created at the beginning of March by Brian Zamora, Family Services Director, and Jean Fraser, Health System Chief. Smoking ban was proposed by Supervisors Carole Groom and Adrienne Tissier and was supported by their board colleagues.

Tissier is happy with the proposed initiative saying that people who grown up in families where one or two parents were smokers, now do not want to do same harm to their kids. Modern science revealed that secondhand smoke affects people negatively.

Neil Klepeis, a researcher from Stanford, on the meeting explained how tobacco smoke drifts between housing units through ventilation systems. People who live next door to a smoker are exposed to high levels of smoke particles.

Groom considers that ban should include not only tobacco products but also e-cigarettes that are extremely popular today among smokers who believe they are absolutely safe for their body. In fact, e-cigarettes aren’t safe.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution which prohibits e-cigarettes in county buildings and noted that it would consider ban into other anti-smoking ordinances.

Smoking in San Mateo County will be banned in all housing facilities with two or more units. It will work in common zones and newly rented or sold units, but would not be applied to current residents until 14 months after the law is adopted.

According to the Health System, there will be made an exception for buildings with designated areas located at least 30 feet from the non-smoking spaces. People who will violate the law will be subjected to fines ($100 first infraction, $200 second infraction, $500 all the next ingractions).

The new anti-smoking law will be applied to more than thousand residential units within the unincorporated areas of the county, most of which are in North Fair Oaks.