QuitDoc Foundation Exposes the Risks of Secondhand Smoke
Eighth Annual Tobacco Free Florida Week Aims to Break the Myth that Secondhand Smoke is Harmless
May 2, 2016

Ocala, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County are launching a new initiative, Secondhand Smoke Exposed, as part of the eighth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week, taking place May 8-14, to educate Marion county residents about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

This year’s theme, Secondhand Smoke Exposed, focuses on dispelling the common myth that secondhand smoke is harmless. The fact is that breathing even small amounts of secondhand smoke can be dangerous. The Marion County Board of County Commissioners is declaring by proclamation that May 8-14, 2016 officially be named “Tobacco Free Florida Week” in Marion, at their May 2nd meeting. QuitDoc Foundation and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County are partnering with the Florida Department of Health in Marion on this initiative, and each will be represented at the meeting to accept the signed proclamation. The Tobacco Free Partnership is also supplying posters designed by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida to local partners, businesses, and recreation areas to help bring the message community-wide, and is kicking off Tobacco Free Florida Week on May 7th at the PACE Center of Marion’s Derby Day 5/10k event, which has been declared a tobacco free event at the Florida Horsepark. QuitDoc Foundation CEO Dr. Barry Hummel and his wife Dr. Darby Sider will be runners in the 10k event that day in support of this event.

“Many people are unaware of how detrimental secondhand smoke exposure can be to one’s health,” said Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief Valerie Lacy. “The goal of this year’s Tobacco Free Florida Week is to make sure all Floridians are aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke. We encourage Floridians to join the fight against tobacco and help make Florida a healthier state for all.”

“We are at a critical time in Florida as we try and protect children from secondhand smoke exposure in public places,” said Dr. Hummel.  “Hopefully, the focus on this issue during Tobacco Free Florida Week will help us raise awareness and increase support for creating smoke-free parks and playgrounds in Marion County.”

 

QuitDoc Foundation supports local tobacco-related interventions, including raising public awareness about subject areas related to secondhand smoke. From guiding a multiunit housing property through the process of going smoke-free, to presenting the benefits of a tobacco free college campus, representatives in Marion County offer various services.*

And by partnering with local initiatives such as Measure Up Marion and the Marion County Health Alliance, QuitDoc Foundation and the Tobacco Free Partnership are working to address the entire county with tobacco prevention and education services. Despite the growing trend of smoke-free policies and the substantial decrease of smokers in the state, many of Bradford County’s most vulnerable are still involuntarily affected by secondhand smoke, which has hundreds of toxic chemicals including about 70 that are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, which is Florida’s number-one cancer killer. Each year, primarily due to secondhand smoke exposure, an estimated 7,300 non-smoking Americans die of lung cancer.

 

May is also Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers. Children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke are likely to experience more frequent and more severe attacks, which can put their lives in danger. In fact, more than 40 percent of children who go to the emergency room for asthma attacks live with smokers.

Residents in Marion County and throughout the state benefit from the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act (FCIAA), which was amended in 2003 to prohibit smoking in indoor workplaces. The Florida Department of Health has a dedicated phone line (1-800-337-3742) where you can report violations to the FCIAA. Floridians can help protect themselves and their families by reporting unlawful smoking, while making the state an even better place to live.

 

 

If you smoke, the best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to quit. Floridians who want to quit smoking are encouraged to use Tobacco Free Florida’s free and proven-effective services. More information is available at tobaccofreeflorida.com.

*Editor’s Note: Tobacco Free Florida’s, QuitDoc Foundation’s and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County’s  assistance with local tobacco free policy efforts are not lobbying, but are services to build awareness and support of jurisdictional voluntary initiatives to improve the health of Floridians.

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About Tobacco Free Florida Week

The eighth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week takes place from May 8-14. Join the conversation on social media using #SHSExposed.

About Tobacco Free Florida

The Florida Department of Health’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. Since 2007, more than 137,000 Floridians have successfully quit, using one of these free services. To learn more 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 on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.  For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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References:

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.

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.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2012. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2012.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: 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, 2014.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma: Common Asthma Triggers [last updated 2012 Aug 20; accessed 2014 May 5

Surgeon General: The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; 2006. Description: OpenURL

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.