Families – don’t open the door to secondhand smoke

The stats are shocking. Almost one Queenslander a day will die from inhaling tobacco smoke this year, without ever having smoked a cigarette in their life.

The effects of second-hand smoke are so often understated – and so alarming.

Around 3000 Queenslanders will die from a tobacco-related disease this year. The World Health Organisation estimates about 300 of these deaths will be due to second-hand smoke inhalation.

This week, Cancer Council Queensland has launched its first-ever resource to assist Queenslanders in making their home a smoke-free zone, to protect family members from deadly chemicals found in second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke inhalation can cause lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems in adults, and SIDS, asthma, poor lung function and bronchitis in children.

Second-hand smoke harms everyone, but it’s especially dangerous to babies and children.

What many Queenslanders don’t know is that second-hand smoke can linger in a home long after a cigarette is finished – on furniture, curtains, dust, clothing, toys and floors.

Smokers may think because they are in another room, or have opened a window for ventilation – that the cigarette vapour won’t affect family members.

The truth is if you are inside the house, there is no safe distance between second-hand smoke and your children, or other members of your household.

Smokers are encouraged to move at least four metres from open doors or windows, to protect loved ones from inhaling poisonous second-hand smoke chemicals.

Making your home totally smoke-free is the only way to protect your family from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.

Cancer Council Queensland’s ‘Make your home a smoke-free zone’ factsheet is available for download via www.cancerqld.org.au/page/prevention/smoking_and_tobacco/.

The factsheet explains the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, dispels common myths, outlines the benefits of a smoke-free home and offers advice for asking visitors to smoke outside.

Smokers, we’re asking you to consider the harmful effects of their habit on friends, family and the community, and to take the necessary steps to quit.

Queenslanders can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848), or join the QUEST to quit at www.cancerqld.org.au.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.

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