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Protect Yourself and Your Family from Secondhand Smoke

Smoking is the most destructive thing you can do to your body. If you smoke, you should quit, for yourself and your family. But even nonsmokers can be affected by secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic, including more than 50 that can cause cancer. Dr. G shares these tips from the American Lung Association on how to protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke:

  • Never smoke in your home or around children. Many of the toxic substances linger in the air even after the cigarette, cigar, or pipe is gone.
  • Ask other people not to smoke in your home, especially babysitters, relatives, and others who care for your children.
  • Make certain that your children's day-care centers, schools, restaurants, and other places your family spends time in are smoke free.
  • Be assertive: Let family, friends, and the people you work with know that you do care if they smoke around you.
  • In restaurants and bars, ask to sit in the nonsmoking area.
  • Ask your employer to make sure you do not have to breathe other people's smoke at work.
  • Quit smoking, for yourself and your loved ones.

Source: Reprinted with permission © American Lung Association

Excerpted from How Not to Die by Jan Garavaglia, M.D.

Copyright © 2008 by Atlas Media Corp. and Jan Garavaglia, M.D.

Permission granted by Crown Publishers, New York, NY