According to the American Heart Association, cigarette smoking accounts for more than 440,000 of the more than 2.4 million annual deaths. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders, such as atherosclerosis, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Several studies have produced evidence that cigarette smoking is a major cause of heart disease, which leads to heart attacks.
Lead by Example
As a dad you lead your family by example. Studies have shown that children of parents who smoke are twice as likely to start smoking themselves.
Nearly one in four men in the United States smoke cigarettes, while surveys indicate that more than 70% of smokers want to quit.
Here is some information put out by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to bring awareness to the dangers of smoking this Father's Day.
Make This Father's Day Smoke-Free
Due in part to the vigilance of parents, many children are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Many dads understand that tobacco smoke hurts children, and they take steps to keep their children safe. But not everyone knows that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals (including toxic substances like formaldehyde, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and butane). Not all parents know that, for children who have asthma, secondhand smoke can trigger an attack and that the attack could be severe enough to send a child to the hospital-or even be deadly.
Call to Action
Just because you can't see tobacco smoke doesn't mean the dangers are gone. Doing things like separating smokers from nonsmokers in a restaurant or ventilating buildings DOES NOT eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure causes sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children, yet millions of children continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in the United States. In fact, about 54% of children (aged 3-11 years) and 47% of youth (aged 12-19 years) are exposed to secondhand smoke. Share the following tips with all dads to ensure that they are fully aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke and that they know how to protect their children from it.
- If you are a dad who smokes, quit now. It is the best thing you can do for your family. Children of parents who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers. Even if you have smoked for many years, you CAN quit. If you need help, go to www.smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
- Do not let people smoke around your children.
- Look for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking, and let owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that smoke bothers you and that a "no-smoking" section is not good enough.
- Make sure your children's day care centers and schools are tobacco-free. A tobacco-free campus policy prohibits any tobacco use or advertising on school property by anyone at any time. This includes off-campus school events.
- Make your home and car completely smoke-free. Opening a window does not protect you or your children from secondhand smoke.
- Teach your children about the health risks of secondhand smoke.
If you smoke, make this Father's Day the start of a healthier life for you and your family.
Be sure to sign up for the free report ‘How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits' at http://hearthealthmadeeasy.com.
Published On: June 16, 2011