Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Last week I visited Operation School Bell and toured the Thrift House (which funds Operation School Bell). I encouraged you to donate your gently used items and to go check out the fabulous finds! However, this week I want to say that not everything second hand is a good thing. If you've been following my blog this week you know that this week in AISD is tobacco awareness week. We're focused on tobacco prevention, cessation, and making healthy decisions.
Today our tobacco topic is second hand smoke. You have reason to celebrate if you have made the choice to not smoke. Did you know that breathing in the smoke from someone else’s cigarette is harmful to you? According to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), "secondhand smoke is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or passive smoke. It is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: sidestream smoke (smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar) and mainstream smoke (smoke that is exhaled by a smoker). Even though we think of these as the same, they aren't. The sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than the mainstream smoke. And, it contains smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which make their way into the body's cells more easily. When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking.Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more secondhand smoke you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body." Second hand smoke can trigger asthma and lead to the same health problems that smokers face.
Second Hand Smoke Facts:
* There are over 4,000 chemicals in second-hand smoke
* 43 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer
* 15% of cigarette smoke is inhaled by the smoker
* 85% of the smoke is inhaled by others around the smoker
* Secondhand smoke causes about 50,000 deaths each year from heart disease and lung cancer in people who do not smoke.
* Statewide, approximately 995,000 kids are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.
For more information from your American Cancer Society on second hand smoke and/or quitting smoking the below links may be helpful.
Guide to Quitting Smoking (also available in Spanish)
Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health (also available in Spanish)
Smoking in the Workplace
Again, I encourage you to donate and shop at the Thrift House (4901 Burnet Rd.) to support Operation School Bell, but please don't share second hand smoke.