The holidays are upon us and through the hustle and bustle of the season Tobacco Free St. Johns wants to remind everyone to keep the tobacco smoke away from children and outside their homes. Colder temperatures cause us to bring many things indoors—like pets and plants—but take care to not bring in tobacco smoke. Smoking inside your home exposes family members and pets to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is known to contain over 250 toxic or cancer-causing chemicals. Exposure can cause children to develop ear infections, bronchitis and even trigger asthma attacks. Non-smoking adults regularly exposed to secondhand smoke can also develop tobacco-related illnesses, such as emphysema. In St. Johns County, 40% of 11 – 17 year olds are exposed to secondhand smoke within the last seven days. Most youth report exposure in homes and cars.
But smoking in your home can also affect your neighbors if you live in a multi-unit community. Buildings with multiple units (apartments, condos, townhomes) share air, which can explain how people can smell their neighbor’s cooking. Secondhand smoke can seep through building cracks, along plumbing and electrical lines, travel through ventilation systems and doorways. Studies have shown that secondhand smoke drifting from unit to unit poses health risks for residents. Across Florida, multi-unit communities are implementing smoke-free policies to prevent unnecessary and dangerous secondhand smoke exposure.
This holiday, don’t let your home be filled by secondhand smoke. If you have unwanted secondhand smoke in your unit, contact Tobacco Free St. Johns for help talking about smoke-free policies with your landlord. If you do smoke, keep it outside your home and plan to make 2015 the year you quit for good. Tobacco Free Florida is standing by with free tobacco cessation services through their “3 Ways to Quit” program. From our homes to yours, Tobacco Free St. Johns wishes a happy and healthy holiday season!
More information can be found by visiting TobaccoFreeFlorida.com or TobaccoFreeStJohns.com.