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Are you Ready to Quit?

February is the perfect time to think about caring for your heart and the hearts of those you love. At least one risk factor for heart disease is preventable. Children of all ages know the answer to “How much secondhand smoke is okay to breathe?” They’ll tell you without hesitation: It’s none!

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 70 of which have been shown to cause cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Since the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was published in 1964, 2.5 million non-smokers have died as the result of being exposed to secondhand smoke (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Even if you or someone close to you isn’t ready to give up smoking, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from secondhand smoke exposure.

  • Talk to kids about tobacco and why it is harmful.
  • As kids get older, they need to know that all forms of tobacco — not just cigarettes – can harm them.
  • Avoid smoking around your child. Don’t allow smoking and other forms of tobacco use in your home or car.
  • Ask friends and family members who smoke to do it outside and away from children.

If you are ready to quit tobacco or are thinking about it, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Let your friends and family know that you plan to quit. And get support from a free resource like the Indiana Tobacco Quitline by calling 1.800.QUIT.NOW or visiting www.quitnowindiana.com.