Parents ignore risks of exposure to secondhand smoke for children, study shows
A recent study measured household air nicotine concentrations in 31 countries. The study found that the median air concentration of nicotine in smokers’ households is up to 17 times greater than in households without smokers. Alarmingly, 82% of smokers reported smoking when their children are nearby, which could indicate a lack of awareness that secondhand smoke is hazardous. The study appears in the February 28, 2008 online version of the American Journal of Public Health. Click here for more information on this study, and click here to view the abstract.
Secondhand smoke hikes tots' risk of heart disease
A study of secondhand smoke exposure among children aged 2 to 14 found that the youngest children are at the greatest risk for smoke-related cardiovascular problems. Researchers measured nicotine content in hair and blood samples, and found that 40% of toddlers had nicotine levels high enough that in adults would suggest active smoking. Overall, younger children had higher nicotine levels than older children in the study. The youngest children also showed evidence of more severe vascular inflammation. Because the ability to reverse the damage is unknown, researchers suggest that parents quit smoking, or at the very least smoke only outdoors. For more information on this study, click here.
Airing out the car won't remove smoking hazards
The data from a study of children’s exposure to secondhand smoke in cars supports the argument behind recent legislative efforts to ban smoking in cars transporting children. Smoking in a car with closed windows caused levels of fine-particulate matter to increase to 11 times greater than would be observed in a smoky bar. Even when a car’s windows are opened halfway, twenty minutes of burning a cigarette exposes the car’s occupants to six times the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum recommended 24-hour particle exposure. Read more about the study by clicking here.
Mets to make Shea Stadium smoke-free for final season
For the Mets’ final season in Shea Stadium, smoking will be prohibited in all areas of the ballpark. Smoking has been banned in seating areas of Shea Stadium since 1995, but the new policy will clear the air for fans and workers everywhere in the stadium. The Mets will play their 2009 season in a new stadium, Citi Field, which will also be smoke-free. Find out more here.
Bristol smoking ban irks some
At the Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR racetrack in Tennessee, smoking is now prohibited in response to the state’s Non-Smoker Protection Act. The racetrack had five months to prepare to comply with the new law, which bans smoking in sports arenas and all indoor public places. Although anti-smoking policies are becoming popular in many places, the new smoking policy at Bristol is a major shake-up since most other tobacco states are still lax on smoking laws, and because auto racing has traditionally been generously funded by tobacco companies. Click here for more details.
Blumenthal: Casino can be made smokeless
Although the Connecticut General Assembly has the legal power to make casinos on Indian reservations smoke-free, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has suggested that the issue would be best resolved by a discussion with leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Despite disagreements on the legality of smoking at the casinos, both Blumenthal and tribal leaders have issued statements that a dialogue would be more amenable than the legal battle that would result from the state imposing its smoking law on the casinos. Read more here.
CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health launches the Evaluation Toolkit for Smoke-Free Policies
This publication provides an overview of approaches to evaluating the effects of smoke-free policies. The publication reviews five types of studies that can be used to assess these policies and four factors to consider in determining which of these studies to conduct in a specific site. The toolkit is intended for use by state tobacco control program staff and others who are involved in conducting these types of evaluations. Click here to view the toolkit.
Tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy, may threaten health of women and children
An international study in nine developing countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa examined pregnant women’s secondhand smoke exposure, rates of tobacco use, and attitudes toward smoking during pregnancy. Traditionally, cultural rules have kept women’s smoking rates low in developing countries, but the study figures indicate that this may be changing. Uruguay and Argentina had the highest smoking rates during pregnancy, at 18% and 10% respectively. Secondhand smoke exposure was the highest in Pakistan, where 50% of women and children are exposed to secondhand smoke frequently or always. While smoking rates are still low, the researchers emphasize that preventing social acceptance of women’s smoking is important in order to keep these numbers from rising. For more information, click here.
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