Kids Strapped in for Secondhand Smoke

A local mom talks about seeing children buckled into a car as the driver smoked.

I don’t know how other people feel about taking two boys under the age of 3 to the grocery store, but I can tell you I avoided it at all cost. However, on one particular day, I had no choice but to brave the store with my boys. While shopping I noticed another mom with two small children about the same age as my boys. We passed each other a few times around the store and I could tell she was struggling keeping her kids contained, as was I. As I was checking out I passed her one more time, we smiled at each other and had an unspoken mom moment of, “we can get through this.” After I got my groceries loaded and kids buckled into their car seat, I noticed this mom one more time pulling out of the parking lot, but I was sad to see her two kids buckled in the back seat of the car and a cigarette in her hand.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54 percent of children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure can be dangerous because nonsmokers inhale many of the same poisons in cigarette smoke as smokers.” In addition, the CDC reports that an estimated 443,000 or 1 in 5 deaths each year are caused by cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can have negative health effects because the nonsmokers are still exposed to harmful chemicals and pollutants.

The U.S. Surgeon General reports have stated that secondhand smoke has negative health implications and that smoking and tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. The following findings are from Surgeon General reports in regards to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure:

  • SHS causes disease in children and in adults who don’t smoke.
  • Exposure to SHS while pregnant increases the chance that a woman will have a spontaneous abortion, still-born birth, low birth-weight baby, and other pregnancy and delivery problems.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to SHS. Any exposure is harmful.
  • On average, children are exposed to more SHS than non-smoking adults.
  • Smoking by parents can cause wheezing, coughing, bronchitis, and pneumonia, and slow lung growth in their children.

After reading this list, my thoughts keep going back to those two little kids buckled into their seatbelts with no choice at all but to be exposed to their mother’s secondhand smoke.

[Ed. Note: California law prohibits smoking in cars with minors.]

My intention in writing this article is not to “bash” smokers, but to act as a reminder that smoking not only impacts your health, but the health of everyone around you. For those smokers who make a conscious effort to smoke in designated areas and avoid smoking around children, your efforts are very much appreciated.

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john davidson October 08, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Schuman's Expert Witnesses Testify in Secondhand Smoke Trial The plaintiff's expert witnesses spoke up on day three of David Schuman's case against his housing cooperative, Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI), for its failure to prohibit the nuisance created by his townhome neighbors, the Popovics', secondhand smoke. Courtroom and Plaintiff's Townhome Register Similar Carcinogen Levels But, an incident from Repace’s testimony Thursday came back into play Friday during cross examination. Goecke pointed out that on Thursday, while demonstrating the carcinogen monitor, Repace had measured the concentration of carcinogens in the court room — which is in a smoke-free building — and the amount he recorded there was similar to what Repace had reported recording in Schuman’s townhome in July of 2011. greenbelt.patch.com/articles/schumans-expert-witnesses-testify-in-secondhand-smoke-trial
john davidson October 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM
If you’re afraid of second-hand smoke, you should also avoid cars, restaurants…and don’t even think of barbecuing. here are just some of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke and what else contains them: Arsenic, Benzine, Formaldehyde. Arsenic- 8 glasses of water = 200 cigarettes worth of arsenic Benzine- Grilling of one burger = 250 cigarettes Formaldehyde – cooking a vegetarian meal = 100 cigarettes When you drink your 8 glasses of tap water (64 ounces) a day, you're safely drinking up to 18,000 ng of arsenic by government safety standards of 10 nanograms/gram (10 ng/gm = 18,000ng/64oz) for daily consumption. Am I "poisoning" you with the arsenic from my cigarette smoke? Actually, with the average cigarette putting out 32 ng of arsenic into the air which is then diluted by normal room ventilation for an individual exposure of .032 ng/hour, you would have to hang out in a smoky bar for literally 660,000 hours every day (yeah, a bit hard, right?) to get the same dose of arsenic that the government tells you is safe to drink. So you can see why claims that smokers are "poisoning" people are simply silly.
john davidson October 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM
You can stay at home all day long if you don’t want all those “deadly” chemicals around you, but in fact, those alleged 4000-7000 theorized chemicals in cigarettes are present in many foods, paints etc. in much larger quantities. And as they are present in cigarettes in very small doses, they are harmless. Sorry, no matter how much you like the notion of harmful ETS, it’s a myth.
john davidson October 08, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Anti-Smoking Researchers in California Admit that They Have Reached Pre-Determined Conclusions Prior to Their Research Studies Acknowledged Purpose of Study is Not to Find Out Effects of Thirdhand Smoke, But to Promote Smoking Bans in the Home While I have for some time argued that many anti-smoking researchers have reached pre-determined conclusions and that their research consists of cherry-picking findings so that they support these pre-determined conclusions, it is now the case that these researchers are readily admitting that they have no interest in seeing where the results of the research actually take them. http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspo... ...
john davidson October 08, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D. Published In: Environment & Climate News Publication Date: July 1, 2008 Publisher: http://www.heartland .org/policybot/resul ts/23399/Scientific_ Evidence_Sho... myth-of-second-hand- smoke http://yourdoctorsor ders.com/2009/01/the -myth-of-second-hand -smoke BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-louisville/bs-alert-the-third-hand-smoke-hoax The thirdhand smoke scam http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/02/thirdhand-smoke-scam.html Heart attacks Frauds and Myths.. http://www.spiked-on line.com/index.php/s ite/article/7451/ TobaccoControl Tactics TCTactics aims to provide up-to-date information on the Tobacco Control Industry, its allies and those promoting the extremist anti-tobacco agenda that no longer targets just tobacco but ordinary adult consumers who use it. The website explores how this industry – with support from the pharmaceutical nicotine producers and government tax funds – influences and often distorts public health debates, using a whole raft of lobbying, public relations tactics and junk science. http://tctactics.org/index.php/Main_Page


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