The Distance Myth
“If I put some distance between me and my kids when I’m smoking, they are safe.”
There is no safe distance between the smoke and your kids. No matter where a cigarette is smoked in your home, the entire house ends up sharing the air. The only way to protect kids from secondhand smoke is to make sure cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are always smoked outside the home and outside the car. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
The Ventilation Myth
“Opening a window or turning on a fan will clear the air of smoke.”
Opening a window or turning on a fan can’t completely remove the poisonous chemicals in secondhand smoke from the air. Smoke from one cigarette can stay in a room for hours, even if you can’t smell it.
Ventilating secondhand smoke does not do enough to protect kids. The only way to protect kids from secondhand smoke is to always smoke outside the home and outside the car.
The Air Freshener Myth
“I use an air freshener after I smoke a cigarette. If you can’t smell the smoke in the air, then it’s gone.”
Many of the dangerous chemicals found in smoke have no odor, so it’s hard to tell if they’re in the air. These chemicals can stay in the air for up to three hours after a cigarette is put out, and they can stick to fabrics like clothes, furniture, and carpet for weeks. Trying to cover up the odor of secondhand smoke with an air freshener does not help.
Even if someone can’t smell secondhand smoke, they may still be breathing its poisonous toxins. Putting out a cigarette before kids get home does not protect them from being exposed to the chemicals in secondhand smoke. The only way to protect kids from secondhand smoke is to always smoke outside the home and outside the car.
The Quit Myth
“If it’s not enough to smoke in another room, open windows, and get rid of the odor, then my only other option is to quit.”
While quitting smoking is the only way to completely protect kids from secondhand smoke in the home and car, there is another step you can take: make your kids a smoke-free zone by never smoking around them.