The Effects of Second and Third Hand Smoke on Our Children

Two Amazing Youth Program Opportunities for 2023!

The Private Industry Council’s Experience Works! and Youth Re-Entry Programs are kicking off the start of the 2023 with a variety of opportunities for youth in both Fayette and Westmoreland counties. Experience Works! focuses on providing experience and skills for...

Password Security – 5 Best Practice Tips

Password Security – 5 Best Practice Tips

  The world today is so cemented in online accounts varying from emails, social media apps, online shopping, streaming subscriptions, banking and more that it can seem overwhelming to remember every password used. Every user is different with how they maintain...

Start off the New Year with a New Career

Start off the New Year with a New Career

Let us help you start the New Year off right. Looking for a new career or new job? Let us help you! The PA CareerLink and their partners have services for all ages and all backgrounds to help you reach your New Year’s goals. If you are looking for a job we have...

Getting Fit in PIC Pre-K

Getting Fit in PIC Pre-K

The Pre-K classroom in Marzolf Primary in the Shaler Area School District just completed a unit of study on health and exercise. The dramatic play area in the classroom was transformed into a gym and smoothie bar. Students were able to “work out” using treadmills,...

Latest podcast

Listen to the “PIC Podcasts”

Listen to the “PIC Podcasts”

Head Start / Early Head Start FAQs The Private Industry Council discusses frequently asked questions for Head Start and Early Head Start students. Private Industry Council operates the Head Start / Early Head Start program for Beaver and Fayette Counties in the...

read more

Second and third hand smoke can affect children from as early as the point of conception and can have lasting, if not deadly, effects on them. Second hand smoke is the exposure to smoke coming from a tobacco product or being exhaled by a smoker. The smoke contains a mixture of more than 7,000 chemicals (such as arsenic, lead and carbon monoxide) and about 70 carcinogens (such as benzene and chromium). Second hand smoke causes premature death, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight, ear infections, respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia) and strengthening asthma attacks in children and infants.

Third hand smoke is just as dangerous as second hand smoke. Smoking leaves a residue on hair, skin, clothing and furniture. Children are exposed to the residue by touching items and ingesting the nicotine. Touching the residue can also cause the nicotine to recombine and form carcinogens in the atmosphere. Significant amounts of toxic by-products can be emitted for weeks after the smoking ends. Third hand smoke cannot be eliminated by opening windows, airing out rooms or vacuuming.

The only way to truly get rid of second and third hand smoke is to eliminate smoking all together.

To help battle this epidemic, Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County, a program of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc, started an initiative in 2017 to educate families and provide them with the resources to stop smoking. Educational materials on the effects of second and third hand smoke are presented to families yearly. Head Start also partners with Fayette County Drug and Alcohol to provide smoking cessation classes to adults as well as anti-smoking presentations to the children. Families also complete a short survey yearly to track the effectiveness of the materials provided.

In the 2018-2019 Head Start program year:

  • 75 families were able to reduce the amount of tobacco usage in their home.
  • 60 families were able to reduce the amount of tobacco usage in their car.
  • 22 families were able to quit smoking, with 4 of these families utilizing the educational materials provided by Head Start of Fayette County.

If you or someone you care about wants to quit smoking, you can start today by using some of these tools:

  • Free Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
  • Smokefree Text: text “QUIT” (7848) to IQUIT (47848)
  • Contact Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission: 724-438-3576
  • Other tools available at Smokefree.gov

 

Sources:
Campaign for tobacco-free kids- https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/
Smokefree.gov- https://smokefree.gov/
Health Central- https://www.healthcentral.com/article/the-dangers-of-third-hand-smoke