Philadelphia’s new anti-tobacco campaign is aimed at parents. About 20 percent of low-income kids in Philadelphia live with someone who smokes.
“The best approach is to try quitting if you can. And if you can’t, take it outside,” said Dr. Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for the city Department of Health.
Taking your cigarette to another room isn’t protection enough, Mallya said. Health experts now worry not just about second-hand but third-hand smoke, too.
“It’s all the chemicals and residue and toxins that’s left in place after someone smokes,” Mallya said. “So that can deposit on furniture, on bed sheets, on drapes, on clothing and in people’s hair. We are finding that that third-hand smoke can also be harmful to children.”
Mallya said parents sometimes don’t know that smoking can cause asthma flare-ups in kids and trips to the emergency room to get asthma attacks under control.
Philadelphia’s new advertising campaign will run on radio, TV and on public transit signs through June.
Many smokers give up cigarettes many times before they’re able to quit for good.
Philadelphia’s quit-smoking help includes free nicotine patches and counseling through the Pennsylvania Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669.