Your health takes a real beating from breathing secondhand smoke. It can lead to:
- asthma, bronchitis, allergies, and middle-ear infections;
- pregnant women more likely to deliver underweight babies and these babies are more likely to have health problems during their lives; and
- an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease if exposed on a regular basis.
Tips for Going Smoke Free
Going smoke free costs nothing. You need no special equipment and the benefits are immediate - better health for you and your family.
- Set a date when your home will officially become smoke free and stick to it. You may want to choose a birthday, start of a new month, a month or more before the arrival of a new baby or the quitting date a smoker in the home has set.
- Keep all the areas in your home smoke free. Most homes today are well insulated and have heating and ventilation systems that move air easily - including any secondhand smoke - from one room to another.
- Select a place for people to smoke outside of the house. Set up a few chairs and an ashtray away from the porch or patio so drifting smoke will not come back into the home through doors and windows. Find a place that is out of the wind and keep an umbrella nearby for those rainy days.
If you live in an apartment building with no balcony, time your smoking to other outings, like going to check the mail or trips to the corner store.
If you live alone with a young child, never leave a child alone. Find a trusted neighbor to sit for you. Offer to do the same for them.
If you are living in an apartment, condo, or townhouse where neighbors smoke in their units, talk to your landlord or condo board about making your building No Smoking. It's a move that is healthy, legal, and in demand.