February 23, 2006
Media Release

Protecting your kids taking it outside!

                                                                                         
Thank you for making your homes and vehicles smoke-free
 
NEWMARKET - York Region Health Services congratulates residents that have made the choice to protect their children from second-hand smoke by making their homes and vehicles smoke-free. 
 
The Canadian Cancer Society recently released findings from an Environics study that found an increasing number of Canadians are protecting others from second-hand smoke. Results from the January 2006 study revealed that 78 per cent of Canadians have made their homes smoke-free and 70 per cent of Canadians have made their vehicles smoke-free. 
 
Second-hand smoke is a mixture of the smoke exhaled from a smoker and the fumes that are expelled from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe.  It contains higher concentrations of the same 4000 toxic chemicals found in first-hand smoke and causes the same smoking-related illnesses including cancers, heart and respiratory diseases. Infants and children are especially susceptible to the dangers of second-hand smoke because their lungs are smaller and their breathing rates are faster than adults.  Children exposed to second-hand smoke are also at heightened risk of developing colds, middle ear infections, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.   Moreover, each year approximately 4,700 Canadians die from second-hand smoke related diseases.
 
Children are mainly exposed to second-hand smoke at home and in a vehicle.  Exposure in vehicles is 23 times more toxic than in a house due to the smaller, enclosed space.  Since there is no safe level of second-hand smoke, opening a window or installing a ventilation system are ineffective protection measures. Research shows that ventilation would need to increase 270 times, or the strength of a gale force wind, to eliminate the health risks of a smoky room.  The only way to eliminate the health risks of indoor second-hand smoke is to remove the source.  Some tips for making your home and vehicles
smoke-free are:
 
 Post smoke-free decals on the doors of your home and window of your car
 Offer to stop the car for cigarette breaks and set up an area outside your home for smokers
 Remove the lighter from the car and find other uses for the ashtray
 Remove ashtrays from your home and practice polite yet firm ways to ask smokers to go outside
 Thank smokers for taking it outside  
 
For more information on this or other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.york.ca.
                                                                          
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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and the services our Region offers, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
 
Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
905-830-4444 Ext. 4016 or after-hours pager (905) 830-3302
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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