The Holidays are a time when the year's hard work is rewarded in family celebrations. Our children's joy at their gifts brings us back to our own childhood. But if you're a smoker there is a more important gift you can give to your family -- the gift of health.
Tobacco smoke in the home:
Ø Causes over 11% of ear infections in children under the age of three in California.
Ø Causes up to 3,000 new childhood asthma cases in California every year.
Ø Causes up to 36,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in California infants and toddlers under 18 months.
Ø Doubles the likelihood that your children will become smokers themselves.
Now new research shows that tobacco smoke is much harder on children's long-term health than had been previously thought. A research team from the University of Vienna studied children between the ages of three and fifteen. The researchers found that even young children exposed to second-hand smoke from their parents had elevated levels of a chemical that stops the blood vessels from working properly. In households where both parents smoked, levels were as much as 130% higher than those coming from smoke-free homes. The head researcher stated, "later vascular disease might be triggered early in childhood by exposure to second hand smoke."
This Holiday Season give the gift of health to your children…and to yourself. If you want to stop smoking call the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
Source: American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2002, November 18, 2002