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
• 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