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SOURCE Denver Public Health
Campaign Emphasizes "Children Are Smoke-Free Zones"
DENVER, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Supported by Amendment 35 funds, a coalition of Colorado counties is launching the "I Am A Smoke-Free Zone" secondhand smoke campaign this week. The campaign stresses that children are "smoke-free zones."
"It's well established and understood that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke," says Dr. Bill Burman, director of Denver Public Health. "Exposure to children causes more severe and frequent asthma attacks, acute respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome."
The campaign focuses on four common myths about secondhand smoke:
There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Parents can easily protect their kids by never smoking around them. Those who smoke need to be consistent in stepping outside and away from others to reduce the risk of smoke drift and to avoid modeling smoking behavior.
Tobacco causes more than 4,300 deaths every year in Colorado – more than alcohol, AIDS, motor vehicle accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Surveys show nearly one in six Coloradans (17 percent) smoke cigarettes. In Denver County, one in five people ages 18 and older are smokers.
In children aged 18 months or younger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually and approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States.
The "I Am A Smoke-Free Zone" campaign is being coordinated by Denver Public Health, in partnership with numerous local public health agencies representing the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Grand, Jefferson, Kit Carson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Sedgwick, Yuma and Weld.
The campaign is utilizing English and Spanish television, radio, Internet, event sponsorship, outdoor, convenience store and restroom-based marketing to empower residents to protect children from the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke.
This campaign is one of several smoking-related public health campaigns now active in Colorado. Amendment 35, approved by Colorado voters in 2004, instituted a tax increase on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The revenue was designated for health care services and tobacco education to improve the health of all Coloradans.
For more information on how to protect children from secondhand smoke to IAmASmoke-FreeZone.org.
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