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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Service Announcements Address the Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
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Public Information Office
(603) 271-9290

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Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Publish Date:
May 26, 2016

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) will be running four public service announcements (PSAs) beginning this month on the dangers of secondhand smoke, especially to children. The PSAs will provide an educational/information resource for viewers to learn about protecting children from secondhand smoke exposure (www.QuitNowNH.org/ProtectKids) and promote the New Hampshire Tobacco Helpline for cessation (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

Secondhand smoke is tobacco smoke that is exhaled by a smoker or from the burning end of a cigarette/cigar or e-cigarette; thirdhand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. On average, children are exposed to more secondhand smoke than nonsmoking adults. The primary source of secondhand smoke exposure for children is the home, but children are also exposed to secondhand smoke in vehicles and some childcare centers.

"We are all aware of the dangers of smoking but fewer people realize how harmful secondhand and thirdhand smoke can be, especially to children," said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DPHS. "We know that tobacco use remains a major public health problem in New Hampshire. The single best thing you can do for your health is to quit tobacco for good; but if you can’t quit for yourself, quit for your children."

To protect children, never allow smoking around them, in your home or where they are cared for, in any vehicle they travel in, or where they sleep. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the chances that children will suffer from smoke-caused coughs and wheezing, bronchitis, pneumonia, potentially fatal lower respiratory tract infections, eye and ear problems and other problems including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other conduct disorders.

There is strong evidence that public health approaches to reduce tobacco use result in financial savings for all. Policy changes that decrease youth initiation eliminate secondhand/thirdhand smoke exposure and move health systems to increase adult quitting have shown a profitable Return on Investment (ROI). New Hampshire residents pay $863 per household per year in state and federal taxes due to government expenditures on tobacco use related health issues.

It is never too late to quit tobacco. Free help is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW and visiting www.QuitNowNH.org or by talking with your doctor. For inspiration, listen to the Tips from Former Smokers stories at www.cdc.gov/tips. For more information about asthma, go to www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdpc/asthma.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852


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