February 7, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Feb. 7, 2013


---- — Children and smoke

TO THE EDITOR: As a tobacco dependence specialist and a mother of two wonderful boys, I feel obligated to share how second-hand smoke hurts children.

I work with health-care providers in our area to address tobacco use with their patients (ready and not ready to quit). One topic I believe is important to discuss is adopting a smoke-free home/car policy regardless if you smoke or not. It saddens me when I see people smoking in cars with children.

Some facts:

• Children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home are at a much higher risk for developing Attention Deficit Disorder and other learning disabilities. 

• According to the American Lung Association, maternal smoking during pregnancy is estimated to double the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. 

• Children exposed to second-hand smoke suffer from an increase in acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more frequent and severe asthma attacks because it slows lung growth. 

• Children typically have no control over their indoor environments. Moving to another room, opening a window and using fans or air conditioners is not enough to protect children from smoke exposure.

• Pregnant women exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater chance of a difficult delivery and smaller-than-average baby. 

If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your health and the health of the next generation is to quit.

If you are not ready, enforce no-smoking rules in your house and car to protect children from second-hand smoke.

If you would like window decals indicating your house/car are smoke-free, contact us at 897-5980 with your mailing address.

For help quitting, call New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487).


North Country Tobacco Cessation Center


Tobacco industry

TO THE EDITOR: How come we are not taking more action against Big Tobacco industries like Marlboro to keep them from targeting kids?

Fact: Marlboro, the most heavily advertised brand, constitutes almost 60 percent of the youth market but only 25 percent of the adult market (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Why are we not doing more to prevent this?

Think about it, the next time you go to a local store or gas station. Look at where the ads are: youth height level. Why do we allow this? Or, how about how closely the packages resemble kids candy packages? The tobacco industry has designed them to be appealing and colorful for kids.

“Today’s teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular customer (Phillip Morris).”

In the paper on Jan. 29, they said the local sell rate to minors is 8 percent, and they want to lower it. If they really want to lower it, then why are we allowing companies like Marlboro to do this?

Fact: Teens are more likely to be influenced by cigarette advertising than they are by peer pressure (Journal of the National Cancer Institute).

Tobacco is the only product that, if used as intended, will kill.