Exposing children to smoke is child abuse

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Exposing children to smoke is child abuse

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:47 pm

This is my belated New Year Editorial

Exposing children to smoke is child abuse

We grew up in the 1960s, when our parents and elders used tobacco in the house. On holidays, I recall choking
in a pall of thick blue smog in my grandfather's small living room. Yes, we kids "survived it," but almost every relative
of mine that had smoked is now dead (on an average age of their late forties)

Of course the general public did not learn of the health danger of second-hand smoke until the late 1980s.
As of now, 2012, more and more states are enacting smoking bans in public places. And most sensible smoking
parents now use their tobacco out-of-doors.

Interestingly enough, second hand smoke from wood-burning fireplaces creates substantial indoor air pollution,
much the same as we had experienced in our youth. That being said, I have identified a new smoking chimney right
near my back yard. Today, I smelled subtle smoke inside my own home. I looked out my back window and
noticed the next yard looked almost like a London fog. (I am not making this up) The smoke was originating from
a neighbor's chimney. After dark, I rechecked that chimney with my laser pointer to confirm the continuance of
that particular pollution source.

I know these people have a small 3-year old child. Their window drapes were open, so I could see their television.
It had Mickey Mouse on, confirming that a small child was present in the same room as the badly-smoking fireplace.
I reckoned that the child was breathing a substantial dose of secondhand smoke, because that fireplace is in that TV room.

Should I have called child protective services? Because carelessly exposing children to smoke is child abuse. That is
because smoke is in fact harmful, especially to young lungs. And there is no excuse for this.

Should people report clueless parents exposing their kids to SHS, in a car or otherwise? In every state, small children
are required to be sitting in car safety seats ... should we not protect them from smoke as well? After all, a car safety
seat protects against possible harm. But smoke creates not just a possible harm, it creates a certain harm.

So where is the outrage on this?

• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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