World No Tobacco Day ~ May 31st

May 30, 2011

Each year Tobacco use kills one in 10 adults worldwide.  Since 1987, the World Health Organization (WHO) has marked May 31st as World No Tobacco Day, in a global effort to:

  1. Call attention to the health risks associated with tobacco use, and
  2. Advocate for effective policies to reduce its use.

Did you know that the province of Saskatchewan has recently banned smoking:

  • In vehicles with children under the age of 16?
  • Around doorways, windows and air intakes of public buildings?
  • On school grounds?

Second hand tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals.  Fifty of these cause cancer.  Babies and children are especially vulnerable to second hand smoke.    Here are some things you can do to protect your family from the dangers of second hand smoke:

  1. Ask people to smoke outside.   It doesn’t help to smoke in another room.  It takes three hours to clear the air of the smoke from a single cigarette.
  2. Make sure your child care provider ensures a smoke free environment.
  3. Let your child know about the harmful effects of tobacco. For example, if your preschooler is washing their hands, you might say: “There are lots of things we do to keep our bodies healthy and clean, like washing our hands or brushing our teeth. But there are also things that are bad for us. Smoking cigarettes is one of these. It makes your breath smell bad and makes it hard to breathe.”   If your child is interested in a particular subject such as ballet or hockey, bring that subject into the conversation.  For example: “Hockey players don’t smoke because it will make it hard for them to breathe when they play.”
  4. Make your vehicle smoke free ~ remember it’s the law.
  5. Create a smoke free workplace.  Protect yourself and other workers from second hand smoke.  Designated smoking areas will not protect others from second hand smoke.
  6. Speak out.  Let people know where you stand on second hand smoke in your environment.
  7. Learn to be a non-smoker:
  • Change your habits to make smoking difficult.  Try walking, jogging, swimming, tennis…
  • Keep a clean taste in your mouth.  Brush your teeth often, use mouthwash or chew a candy or gum
  • Drink lots of water.  Avoid alcohol and coffee
  • Keep your mouth busy.  Have handy substitutes like carrots, dill pickles, or sunflower seeds. 
  • Keep your hands busy.  Do crossword puzzles, needlework, woodwork, yard work or household chores.

Your family will love and thank you…