Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are you playing with fire?

Aztec women are handed flowers and smoking tub...Image via Wikipedia
I recently heard from my sister that she was diagnosed with polyps on her nose, which was due to her husband's incessant smoking. That's right, it was secondary smoking, or passive smoking. the very culprit. And as always said, the sufferings and woes of people affected by secondary smoking is more that those doing the puffing.

If you are into that habit of lighting up and smoking away, here's something that may make you stop - if you will.

Read on...

Are you playing with fire?
by Eveline Gan

YOU are craving a nicotine fix, but you don't want the second-hand smoke to affect your child. So you step outside for a puff, thinking what a responsible parent you are.

Well, think again.

A study has found that toxic particles from cigarette smoke, also dubbed as third-hand smoke, can linger on surfaces such as human skin, clothes or furniture, long after the cigarette is extinguished and smoke cleared from the air.

Are you playing with fire? TODAYOnlin.com - Health
The study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that after exposing a piece of paper to smoke, the levels of newly-formed carcinogen (cancer-causing substances) rose by 10 times higher when it interacted with an indoor air chemical called nitrous acid commonly emitted by household appliances or cigarette smoke for three hours.

"A lot of parents think that if they smoke at home when their children aren't around, their children are safe. Although ventilation will help smoke dissipate, the particles simply embed themselves on furniture, carpets and other surfaces," said Dr Lim Yun Chin, a psychiatrist at Raffles Hospital's Raffles Counselling Centre.

"Even smoking outside will not help because the nicotine residues will stick to a smoker's skin, hair and clothing."

The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Non-Smokers Using Allen Carr's Easyway MethodHe added: "When the toxic particles land and embed themselves on objects in the home, you run the risk of children receiving chronic exposure to these contaminants. It may be as simple as an infant, being held, inhaling and touching toxins from a smoking parent's clothing."

Chronic exposure to second- and third-hand smoke is harmful to children.

While it is well-known that toxic particles from cigarette smoke affects the lungs and heart, recent studies have also found that it may affect brain development.

According to Dr Lim, research has shown that cigarette smoke is linked to lower intelligence and other behavioural problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and aggressive and defiant behaviour, in children.

LifeSign QuitKey Smoking Cessation ComputerProfessor Kua Ee Heok, a senior consultant at the National University Hospital's psychological medicine department added that while many of the study findings are inconclusive, one thing is for sure.

"We know that children in such families (with smokers) may have a tendency to smoke at an earlier age because of 'Learned Behaviour'," Prof Kua said.

"Learned Behaviour" is one that is observed through experience and then carried out by an individual. A child exposed to cigarette smoking in a smoking household, who then picks up the habit, is an example.

How To Quit Smoking Even If You Don't Want ToAs such, parents who smoke should try to quit for the sake of their children, advised Dr Lim.

If your self-help methods have not been effective, try professional help or visit a smoking cessation clinic.

A combination of medication - to reduce withdrawal symptoms - and counselling to ease the stress of quitting can help, said Prof Kua.

Taken from TODAY, Health - Tuesday, 20-April-2010;
Source article is here, Are you playing with fire?