Survey highlights beliefs about children's risks from 'third-hand smoke'
Although most people are aware that secondhand smoke is harmful, a recent study demonstrates that fewer adults are aware of the dangers of third-hand smoke. The term “third-hand smoke” refers to the toxins that remain on surfaces after tobacco smoke has cleared. Third-hand smoke is present in house dust and can be breathed in by adults from volatile compounds released from smoke-exposed surfaces, but the researchers note that third-hand smoke particularly poses a danger to infants and small children who have close contact with smoke-exposed surfaces during playing and crawling. In a nationally-representative cross-sectional study, 93% of adults recognized that secondhand smoke is harmful, while only 61% perceived third-hand smoke as harmful. Strict home smoking bans were independently associated with awareness that third-hand smoke is harmful. Based on these findings, it is suggested that health advocates can encourage the adoption of home smoking bans by increasing awareness about third-hand smoke. Click here to read more. Click here to access the research paper, which was published in the January 2009 issue of Pediatrics.
National survey: Children remain especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke, despite nation's progress in clean indoor air policies
A recent survey from the American Legacy Foundation®, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence and Mississippi State University found that despite a considerable amount of progress in changing the social acceptability of smoking, nearly half of American children are still exposed to secondhand smoke. Forty-two percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke on a weekly basis. Among parents who smoke, only 53.5% prohibit smoking in their home, and a mere 22.5% prohibit smoking in the family vehicle. Additionally, 8.1% of all parents reported that their child had been exposed to secondhand smoke in a public place during the past week. The release of these findings coincides with the announcement of a collaboration between the American Legacy Foundation and Parents magazine to create a new program that will provide free quit plans and cessation support for parents. The Parents Quit for Good website can be found at http://www.parentsquitforgood.com. Click here for more information.
Smoking ban lowers heart attacks in one U.S. city
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that a municipal smoking ban in Pueblo, Colorado had a dramatic and lasting effect on the city’s heart attack rate. The number of hospital admissions for heart attacks decreased by 41% after the city’s smoke-free law was implemented, and the decrease lasted for three years. This study adds to the evidence from several studies on the short-term benefits of smoking bans by demonstrating that smoke-free policies can result in a long-term decrease in heart disease rates. The CDC estimates that secondhand smoke exposure raises heart disease risk by 25 to 30% among adult nonsmokers. Click here to read a summary of the findings. Click here to read the full Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report titled "Reduced Hospital Admissions for Acute Myocardial Infarction After Implementation of a Comprehensive Indoor Smoke-Free Ordinance — City of Pueblo, Colorado, 2002–2006." Click here to watch a video about the story on CBS news.
Fewer people in Kansas City are smoking, and tobacco-related deaths have declined (KS)
Between the years of 2001 to 2007, the smoking rate dropped in Kansas City from 31% to just under 23%. The number of heart attack deaths followed a similar trend by dropping 21% between 2001 and 2006. This translated to 67 fewer deaths per year among smokers and an annual savings of 17 million dollars of what would have been lost productivity in the Kansas City area. The director of the Kansas City Health Department, Rex Archer, attributes the smoking decline to a combination of anti-tobacco campaigns, media attention to tobacco issues, and the increase in local public smoking bans. Researchers in other areas including Pueblo, CO, New York state, Scotland and Helena, MT have seen similar reductions in heart attack deaths following smoking bans and restrictions. Researchers suggest that smoking bans are reducing these deaths by reducing second-hand smoke exposure and by causing smokers to smoke less. Click here to read more.
Lives saved by Smoke-Free Workplace Law (MA)
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study looking at the annual amount of heart attack deaths that occurred after the implementation of the Massachusetts Smoke-Free Workplace Law. Researchers examined all 351 cities from 1999 to 2006 and divided the cities into one of three categories: 1) cities with strong local laws prior to the 2004 statewide smoke-free law, 2) cities with weak secondhand smoke laws prior to 2004, and 3) cities with no laws prior to 2004. When compared, the study found that a strong smoke-free workplace law was the single strongest factor that indicated a sharp decline in heart attack deaths. Researchers found that after implementation of the statewide smoke-free law, the expected rate of heart attack deaths was decreased by 577 deaths annually. The study concludes that this is likely attributable to the decrease in secondhand smoke exposure. Click here to read more.
National council of legislators from gaming states adopts resolution supporting 100% smokefree gaming venues
The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), an organization comprised of lawmakers from states with casinos and other forms of state-regulated gaming, formally adopted a resolution encouraging states to take action to make all gaming worksites smokefree.
The NCLGS resolution encourages lawmakers to include casinos and other gaming venues in smokefree workplace laws. In addition, it recommends that smokefree air be included in state-tribal gaming compact agreements. To read more, click here.
Two hospitals seek to extend smoking bans (CT)
While some Connecticut hospitals want to ban cigarette smoking on their property to protect patients and employees, two hospitals are trying to go one step further by seeking to ban smoking even from the public streets and sidewalks nearby. To read more, click here,
New year, new ways to find smoke-free apartments: New online directory of Minnesota’s smoke-free apartment buildings launched for 2009 (MN)
The Association for Nonsmoker’s in Minnesota announces a new resource for tenants looking for smoke-free apartment buildings. The association launched an online directory that is easily accessible and lists more than 250 Minnesota apartment buildings that are 100% smoke-free. The directory is free and allows users to find apartments with multiple smoke-free options including those that are completely smoke-free or that have smoke-free building or units. The website also provides resources for renters dealing with secondhand smoke. In addition to services for renters, the directory offers free advertising to smoke-free apartment complexes and a model lease addendum and information for builders interested in adopting smoke-free policies within their communities. Click here to access the online directory.
Back to Table of Contents