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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 117-05
Thursday, December 8, 2005

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (after hours or on weekends)
Sandra Mullin smullin@health.nyc.gov
Andrew Tucker atucker@health.nyc.gov


HEALTH DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES FROM SECOND-HAND SMOKE BY GOING SMOKE-FREE AT HOME

NEW YORK CITY – December 8, 2005 – In its latest monthly Health Bulletin, “A Smoke-Free Home,” the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene educates New Yorkers about the health benefits of making their homes smoke-free. The Bulletin lists the health risks of second-hand smoke and offers helpful tips for creating a smoke-free home. The Bulletin is available online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/public/dohmhnews4-09.pdf.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said, “Every day, second-hand smoke sends more than 100 NYC kids to doctors or emergency rooms with asthma, ear infections or lung infections. Making your home smoke-free will safeguard your family against the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, which is especially dangerous to children and babies.”

Second-hand smoke causes serious and deadly health problems. Those who live with smokers have increased risk of cancer or heart disease. Children have more illnesses, such as asthma and ear infections. Second-hand smoke can also contribute to low birth weight in babies, pre-term delivery, and miscarriage. Incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also rises among infants exposed to second-hand smoke. Teens are more likely to start smoking in homes where adults smoke.

Establishing a “no smoking” policy in your home has many benefits:

  • Protects children and others who live with you from smoke-related illness or death
  • Helps people who smoke quit by promoting a healthier smoke-free atmosphere
  • Keeps your home safer as cigarettes are the leading cause of fires in homes
  • Makes your home easier to clean
  • Safeguards pets who can get sick from second-hand smoke

Commissioner Frieden added that, “90% percent of homes in New York City are already smoke-free and 70% of smokers have smoke-free homes. Most people recognize that a smoke-free home is healthier.”

For more information about second-hand smoke or other tobacco cessation issues, please visit nyc.gov/health or call 311.

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