Quit smoking to protect your loved ones

BLOOMINGTON – Every time you smoke, you’re potentially exposing others to harmful chemicals. Protect your loved ones this holiday season by quitting tobacco.

Kristen Terry

“Not smoking is the only way you can guarantee the people in your lives won’t be exposed to your second or thirdhand smoke,” said IU Health Community Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Kristen Terry. “Tobacco addiction is strong, but with the right plan you can be stronger.”

The educator explained that secondhand smoke occurs when others breathe in the chemicals that linger in the air when a smoker exhales and from the tobacco product itself (cigarettes, cigars, vapes, etc.). Thirdhand smoke is when those chemicals linger on items including carpet, clothes, furniture, and toys.

Both second and thirdhand smoke increase the risk of health issues in nonsmokers.

“Exposure to these substances can contribute to heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke in adults who do not smoke,” said Terry. “Children and infants who are exposed have a higher risk for developing respiratory diseases and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”

Having the right support and plan in place can help with your tobacco cessation journey. Check out these resources to learn more: