The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and Boys & Girls Club of Ohkay Owingeh collaborate on new secondhand smoke awareness campaign, “Kids for Smoke-Free Air Challenge”.
NMDOH in collaboration with Boys & Girls Club of New Mexico are promoting a secondhand smoke awareness campaign for parents and families who may be exposing their children and others to unhealthy secondhand smoke in homes and cars.
This will help reduce tobacco-related illness, save lives and save money.
The Boys & Girls Clubs participating in this campaign are: Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Blanca (Ruidoso); Boys & Girls Club of Central New Mexico-Seligman Branch (Albuquerque); Boys & Girls Club of Ohkay Owingeh (Española); and Boys & Girls Club of Las Cruces.
The “Kids for Smoke-Free Air Challenge” is a contest that can raise prizes of up to $1,000 for the club. Children are asked to collect pledges from adults promising to make their home and car smoke-free.
The club will receive a reward for reaching milestones. Materials include pledge cards, a Kids for Smoke-Free Air Challenge website, English and Spanish videos, and an activity “What Happens When You Breathe Secondhand Smoke”.
The campaign focuses on the safety of children and healthy lifestyles.
Health Educators throughout the state and select Boys & Girls Clubs will participate in the Challenge to educate parents and children on the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Furthermore, parents who are interested in quitting tobacco will receive information on free cessation services available in New Mexico.
Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children:
- Studies show that children whose parents smoke get sick more often. Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in a child. Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.
- Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections.
“Tobacco is still very much a challenge to overcome in New Mexico,” said Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program manager Benjamín Jácquez.
“Parents can help protect their children from secondhand smoke by taking the pledge not to smoke in their homes or cars. According to the Surgeon General, there is NO safe amount of secondhand smoke,” he added.
For more information on secondhand smoke, visit the Are You Doing Enough? website, http://www.areyoudoingenoughnm.com/.
For more information on New Mexico’s free tobacco cessation services, visit the Quit Smoking Now website, http://quitnownm.com/.