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The Dangers of Parental Smoking in Homes and Cars

Statistic show that more and more adults smoke in enclosed spaces like the home or the car. But they didn't know that even when the windows are open subject others to a dangerous mix of toxins including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and cyanide. Often the victims of tobacco smoke are children (700 million children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke).

Tobacco smoke exposes children to chronic health risks, causes bronchitis and pneumonia in young adults; increases the risk of ear infections, asthma, coughing and wheezing among school-aged children; contributes to low birth weight in newborns and harms lung development. These are the main causes why parents must protect their children from second hand smoke.

The members of the International Union against Cancer (UICC) decided to act against smoking in enclosed spaces in order to protect children from tobacco smock. That's why they initiated on World Cancer Day, 4 February, an article for parents, with a lot of messages, named "I love my smoke-free childhood".

"I love my smoke-free childhood" is an article with such messages: avoid smoking at home or in a car; caution children to stay away from secondhand smoke and places that allow smoking; do not smoke while pregnant or near someone who is pregnant; become a role model for your child - do not smoke and other messages.

The members of UICC decided to offer parents simple steps and advices that can help them to prevent cancer later in life of there children.

"Forty percent of cancers are preventable through healthy habits. The first step toward prevention is education, starting with parents and children. Every success story means fewer lives lost," says Isabel Mortara, UICC executive director. "Tobacco-related cancers lead the list of preventable deaths and hundreds of thousands of people who have never smoked die each year from diseases caused by secondhand smoke. That's why this initiative is so important."

The smoking ban was accepted not only by UICC members but also by Ireland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Uruguay, Bermuda, Bhutan, Iran, Puerto Rico and several U.S. states and cities.

"Countries with 100% smoke-free laws should be commended for their legacy to healthier families. In these nations the percentage of children exposed to secondhand smoke has decreased over time," says Dr. Franco Cavalli, UICC president.

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