The dangers of second hand smoke are very, very real.
Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. It is composed of nearly 4,000 different chemicals and chemical compounds such as benzene, arsenic, carbon monoxide, ammonia and cyanide.
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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) secondhand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and a number of health conditions, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and respiratory infections, in children. Put it Out Rockland has pioneered a number of initiatives, targeted directly at second hand smoke in our community. Please read on to learn more.
Young Lungs At Play
Young Lungs at Play is designed to eliminate cigarette smoking at outdoor play areas in Rockland County. Secondhand smoke is dangerous to all people and children are especially vulnerable. The Young Lungs at Play program has been created to protect children by limiting their exposure to secondhand smoke and the discarded cigarette butts found at outdoor play areas. YLAP encourages municipalities, schools, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, camps and childcare facilities, and apartment and condominium complexes in Rockland County to sign up for YLAP and join Rockland County in their efforts to eliminate children's exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smoke Free Home and Car
Protecting children from second-hand smoke is critical as infants and children are more severely affected by exposure to second-hand smoke than adults. Because children are smaller, have immature immune systems and higher respiratory rates. Secondhand smoke is significantly more concentrated in cars than it is in bars, restaurants and other public places, according to a study released in august 2009 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health. A child who spends one hour in a very smoky room is inhaling as many dangerous chemicals as if he or she smoked 10 or more cigarettes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. In response to the above, in June 2007, Rockland County passed the Kids in Cars Smoking Safety Act, Local Law #6. This law prohibits smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 18. Protect your family by making your home and car smoke free!
The Rockland County Multiple Unit Dwelling Smoking Policy Law goes into effect on January 1, 2012.
POW'R Against Tobacco is prepared to partner with the Health Department in order to assist in educating building owners in regard to the new law and to offer technical assistance with policy development for interested parties. The new law is a major step towards protecting Rockland County residents from the harmful effects of second hand smoke in their own homes. We are grateful to the Rockland County Legislature for once again making courageous and visionary decisions that serve to make Rockland County a healthier place to live work and play. For more information about the law visit: www.ecode360.com/15553167