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Go Smoke-Free at Home in Honor of National Safety Month

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111
or Victoria Martinez
media@tobaccofreeflorida.com
(305) 572-1387

GO SMOKE-FREE AT HOME IN HONOR OF NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH
~ This June, protect your family by making your home 100 percent smoke-free ~

TALLAHASSEE—In recognition of National Safety Month, Tobacco Free Florida is asking Floridians to make their homes a safer place by going smoke-free this June. This year’s theme, “Safety Starts with Me,” is about making choices that can reduce preventable injuries and deaths. By making your home smoke-free, you reduce the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke and diminish the potential for smoking-related fires.

“A home should be a safe place for everyone, especially for children,” said Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief Shannon Hughes. “By making sure your home is 100 percent smoke-free, you are protecting your family from the dangers of toxic secondhand smoke and from the risk of deadly smoking-related fires.”

Secondhand Smoke

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) can have the following consequences:

  • Heart disease: Non-smokers exposed to SHS at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent.1 In fact, more than 46,000 non-smoking Americans die of heart disease each year primarily due to exposure to SHS.2,3
  • Lung cancer: Each year, primarily due to exposure to SHS, an estimated 3,000 non-smoking Americans die of lung cancer.4
  • Bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections: Children exposed in the first two years of life have more than a 50 percent increased risk of getting bronchitis and pneumonia.5 More than 300,000 children suffer each year from infections caused by tobacco smoke, including bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.6
  • Severe asthma: More than 40 percent of children who go to the emergency room for asthma attacks live with smokers. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.7
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Exposure to SHS doubles an infant’s risk of SIDS.8

Those living in residential buildings, like apartments and condominiums, may be at risk even when they do not allow smoking in their own units. Tobacco smoke can move along air ducts, through cracks in the walls and floors, through elevator shafts, and along plumbing and electrical lines affecting units that are nearby.9,10 The only way to be completely safe is to ensure the building is 100 percent smoke-free.

Smoking-Related Fires

Secondhand smoke is not the only danger associated with tobacco use at home. Smoking-related fires are the leading cause of fire deaths in residential buildings.11 About one-third of the victims are children.12 These fires are eight times more likely to result in death than fires that start from another source.

Smoking-related fires in residential buildings result in an average of approximately 365 deaths, 925 injuries, and $326 million in property loss each year.13

National Safety Month is an annual observance led by the National Safety Council to educate and influence behaviors around leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.

Take the initiative this June and make your home 100 percent smoke-free. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/smokefreehousing.com

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ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA
DOH’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.

Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s three ways to quit. To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

DOH works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.


1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8 [accessed 2011 Mar 11].

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2011 Mar 11].

4 American Cancer Society, Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010

5 Cook, D.G., and D.P. Strachan. 1999. Health Effects of Passive Smoking-10: Summary of Effects of Parental Smoking on the Respiratory Health of Children and Implications for Research. Thorax 54:357366.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

7 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

8 Anderson, H.R. and D.G. Cook. 1997. Health Effects of Passive Smoking-2: Passive Smoking and Sudden Infant

9 Office of the Surgeon General. The Surgeon General’s call to action to promote healthy homes. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.

10 Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. Children and secondhand smoke exposure: excerpts from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. 2007.

11 2010 report by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

12 Facts About Smoking and Home Fires (2007). U.S. Fire Administration Publication – 306, June, 2007. Available at: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/smoking/GeneralAudienceFactSheet.pdf

13 U.S. Fire Administration. (USFA)Smoke-Related Fires in Residential Buildings Report (2008-2010). http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i6.pdf.

Additional Resources