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Is your home or vehicle smoke-free? Are we protecting the ones we care about and love…


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Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
 

 

Today CDC released a new report Smoke-Free Rules and Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Homes and Vehicles Among US Adults, 2009–2010. “With almost 50% of US residents are protected by smoke-free regulations in worksites, restaurants and bars, it is estimated that 88 million of non-smoking americans over the age of three are exposed to second hand smoke,” said Brian King, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and lead author of the study released today. While growing up I was exposed to secondhand smoke reguralrly, and am pleased to know that so many americans adopt voluntary smoke-free polices for their homes and cars. Not only does it help to keep the value of your home and vehicle high, its protects the ones you love.

Four out of five U.S. adults report having voluntary smoke-free rules in their homes and three out of four report having voluntary smoke-free rules in their vehicles, according to a study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The National Adult Tobacco Survey respondents were classified as having smoke-free rules if they never allow smoking inside their homes or vehicles.  The study is the first to present estimates of smoke-free rules and secondhand smoke exposure in vehicles among U.S. adults.  Despite the high prevalence of voluntary smoke-free rules in homes and vehicles, the study found that almost 11 million non-smoking adults continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in their home, and almost 17 million non-smoking adults continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle.  The study also contains state-by-state data showing that the highest prevalence of smoke-free rules in homes and vehicles occurred in many states with comprehensive smoke-free laws and longstanding tobacco control programs.

Additional study findings include:

  • Eighty-one percent of U.S. adults report having smoke-free rules in their homes and 74 percent have smoke-free rules in their vehicles
  • Eighty-nine percent of non-smokers report having smoke-free home rules, while only 48 percent of smokers have them.
  • Eighty-five percent of non-smokers report having smoke-free vehicle rules, while only 27 percent of smokers have them.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers in homes and vehicles was greatest among men, younger adults, non-Hispanic blacks, and those with a lower level of education.
  • Many of the states with the lowest prevalence of smoke-free rules in homes and vehicles are states with a high prevalence of adult smoking.

Exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in adult non-smokers.  In children, secondhand smoke exposure causes more severe and frequent asthma attacks, acute respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  Secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 50,000 deaths each year in the United States.  The Surgeon General has concluded there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that only 100 percent smoke-free policies can protect non-smokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.  Opening a window does not work, nor does any other ventilation system.

The research is solid and we understand the implications smoking has on our health and our families. We understand that smoking is a hard habit to kick, but with help you can do it. For more resources on quitting visit www.becomeanex.org or call your state quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now!

The online version of the article is available at http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/.

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