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UK warns of the risk of secondhand smoke

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

Recent studies show the danger of secondhand smoke is even greater than the medical community had previously thought.

That has UK Healthcare launching a statewide campaign to make everyone in the Bluegrass aware of the danger.

Kentucky has more adult smokers than all but 2 other states, which we are now learning puts Kentucky kids at tremendous risk.

UK pulmonologist, Dr. Don Hayes, tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "We're finding out more and more about it. There are over 250 toxic substances that are in secondhand smoke and anything that primary smokers are breathing in, other people are exposed to as well. We're targeting all Kentuckians, especially those that don't have any say in this, the children."

It's estimated almost 30 per cent of pregnant women in Kentucky smoke during their pregnancy. UK nurse, Kristin Morse, stopped smoking abruptly 5 years ago when she found out she was going to have a baby. "I didn't smoke another cigarette after the pregnancy test came up positive. I just wanted my daughter to be healthy and have the best chance possible.while growing up. I had a paitent here whose husband smoked for their entire marriage. She never smoked, but she was in having a bronchoscopy because she had gotten COPD from his secondhand smoke."

If you smoke and you feel you just can't or won't quit, doctors advise at least make sure you always do it outside your car or home, and Dr. Hayes throws in one more precaution. "Wear the same jacket and hang it outside or in the garage so that those chemicals and substances that are in the tobacco smoke on your clothing is not returned into the house after you smoke outside."

The new campaign is personal for Dr. Hayes whose family history put him at great risk. "Both my parents smoked, I had asthma as a kid, and I unfortunately am developing more symptoms today."

The good doctor says something has to be done because studies show some 360,000 Kentucky children are exposed to tobacco smoke every day.


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