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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN PASCO COUNTY EXPOSE THE RISKS OF SECONDHAND SMOKE

By Deanna Krautner

May 06, 2016

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN PASCO COUNTY EXPOSE THE RISKS OF SECONDHAND SMOKE 

New Port Richey, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program and Florida Department of Health in Pasco 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 Floridians 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. Even if there is not a smoker in your home, secondhand smoke can enter your home in a multiunit building through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing and electrical lines, and even to units on other floors.

“Tobacco smoke – including secondhand smoke – is unhealthy for everyone, especially people with asthma,” said Georgia Brieck, Tobacco Prevention Specialist. “More than 40 percent of children who go to the emergency room for asthma attacks live with someone who smokes.”

Across Florida, there are more than 1,000 smoke-free multiunit properties and 158,000 smoke-free units.  In 2015, Tobacco Free Florida established a partnership with the Florida Apartment Association to help multiunit housing communities implement smoke-free policies. This partnership is helping ensure that the air exchanged between apartments – up to 65 percent – is free of secondhand smoke.  Using ventilation, air conditioning or fan systems cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

Florida Department of Health in Pasco County supports local tobacco-related interventions, including raising public awareness about the benefits of smoke-free multiunit housing. If you are a multiunit housing resident or property manager interested in making your building smoke-free, contact Georgia Brieck at 727-619-0161 or Georgia.Brieck@flhealth.gov.