Until late in the 20th century, tobacco companies consistently denied any link of their products with cancer or cancer-enhancing tendencies. However, today, the harmful effect of tobacco on smokers and non-smokers alike is well-known with detailed documentation on the impact of secondhand smoke since the 1980's.
Into these category of non-smokers falls a group of people who need SOMEONE to speak for them - CHILDREN as statistics say secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and tens of thousands of deaths from heart disease to nonsmoking adults in Nigeria each year.
Millions of children are breathing in secondhand smoke almost daily in the one place they should be safe - their homes. The reason for these is adults & in some cases underaged smokers who puff away not heeding the harm being done to our nation's future leaders. Secondhand smoke can be especially harmful to your children's health because their lungs still are developing. If you and anyone who know & permit smokes around your children, they are exposed to secondhand smoke and may be in more danger than you realize. Children whose parents smoke only outside are still exposed to the chemicals in secondhand smoke.
Below is a true life story of the effect secondhand smoke can have on a child;
My ex-husband and I divorced when our son was 1 year old. At that time, smoking was not allowed in our home and my son's health was fine. Once we divorced, his father resumed smoking and that's when the trouble with my son's ears started. My son is 3 years old now and on his second set of ear tubes and has had his annoides removed. My son gets sick whenever he goes to his dad's- he always comes back with ear infections. (Besides his dad who smokes, there are also 3 other people living in the home who smoke too) My son has mild hearing loss in the left ear. I know it is the smoking. The solid proof that proved it, was this past October. Oct. 23 my son had a hearing test and the tubes were open and clear, then on November 2nd he went to his dad's for a week. On Nov. 13 was his next hearing test and it came back saying that both ears were flat and his next test said he had fluid in his ears again.
Because young children can't choose to leave a smoke-filled environment, this constant exposure makes them especially vulnerable to the health risks of secondhand smoke. Infants and children who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased chance of developing the following conditions:
- Frequent colds and respiratory infections (including bronchitis and pneumonia)
- May experience slow or incomplete lung growth and development
- Asthma and chronic coughs
- Chronic and/or recurrent ear infections
- SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- High blood pressure
- Learning and behavior problems, including inattention and aggression.
- Poor dental health
- Increased likelihood that the children themselves will become smokers
As adults today, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure a smoke-free environment is a LEGACY we bequeath to our children. This is why we ask YOU to participate in the TC RADIO CAMPAIGN and INVITE your FRIENDS & FAMILY to do the same as we all join hands in stopping this dilemma before it's too late. To subscribe: Text (TC Name Email Location Message) to 39405 as together we can make the change we desire.
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· For more facts and Tobacco Control tips visit www.tobaccoctrl.ng