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Smoking Nanny

At a moment's notice they may be called to administer CPR to a dying person.

Attempting to do something about stuff like this over the years has made me somewhat unpopular. Most people prefer to talk about or do something else rather than to do something about this. I am usually told that there are more important things to address in the world.

I am aware that there are much more important issues to address in the world and I plan to get at them...right after I try to do something about this.

It is unfortunate that even today most of us will pass by a scene like this and not give it a second thought or worse, say nothing.

I think it's wrong and this should not be allowed to happen. This weeks-old baby should not have to tolerate this careless behavior.

Indoors or out, Secondhand smoke can still harm children...

Environmental Tobacco Smoke:
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a complex mixture of chemicals generated during the burning and smoking of tobacco products. Chemicals present in ETS include irritants and systemic toxicants such as hydrogen cyanide and sulfur dioxide (SO2), mutagens and carcinogens such as benzo[a]pyrene, formaldehyde, and 4 aminobiphenyl, and the reproductive toxicants nicotine, cadmium, and carbon monoxide (CO) (Jenkins et al. 1992). Of children in the United States 11 years of age and younger, 43% live in a home with at least one person who smokes (Pirkle et al. 1996). Exposures of children to ETS produce a range of effects, some of which are unique to early life, and others that are analogous to the effects produced by ETS in adults.

Prenatal exposure to ETS affects fetal growth and is associated with a 20-40% elevated risk of low birth weight or "small for gestational age" [CEPA (California Environmental Protection Agency) 1997; Eskenazi et al. 1995; Haddow et al. 1988; WHO 1999]. The primary effect observed, reduction in mean low birth weight, is small in magnitude (25-50 g). However, if the distribution of birth weight in a population of babies is shifted downward by ETS exposure, infants who are already compromised may be pushed into higher risk categories. Because low birth weight is associated with increased infant morbidity and mortality, exposure to ETS is likely to augment such burden. Exposure to ETS during infancy has been associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death independent of low birth weight or prematurity (Klonoff-Cohen et al. 1995; Taylor and Sanderson 1995).

In children ETS exposure affects the upper and the lower respiratory tract. Infants and young children are at particular risk of exposure to ETS because of the small diameter of their airways and because pound-for-pound they breathe more air than adults. Infants exposed to ETS in their home environment have a 1.5- to 3-fold increased risk of lower respiratory infection compared with unexposed children (McConnochie and Roghmann 1986; Ogston et al. 1987; ). The risk of lower respiratory infection associated with ETS is highest among infants under 3 months of age (Wright et al. 1991). Children whose parents smoke also are more likely to develop middle ear effusion, as measured by tympanometry (Reed and Lutz 1988; Strachan et al. 1989), and chronic respiratory problems (cough, phlegm, or wheezing) (Mannino 1996). Children exposed to ETS are at elevated risk of developing asthma, and those with asthma are more likely to experience more severe disease (Chilmonczyk et al. 1993; Martinez et al. 1992; Weitzman et al. 1990). Childhood exposure to ETS affects lung growth and development, as measured by small but significant decrements in pulmonary function tests (Cullinan and Taylor 1994; Cunningham et al. 1994; Lebowitz et al. 1992; Wang et al. 1994). Because early lung development is important in terms of future respiratory health, these results suggest that ETS may have adverse long-term effects on children's respiratory health that warrant further investigation through longitudinal studies.

Entire Article from Environmental Health Perspectives...

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