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Tuesday 28.03.2017 | Name days: Ginta, Gunda, Gunta
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Passive smoking kills 165,000 children every year

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUPassive smoking kills approximately 600,000 people around the world every year. This includes 165,000 children, according to latest estimates of UN World Health Organization.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical substances. 250 of them are hazardous and more than 70 cause cancer. Head of Latvian Disease Prevention and Control Centre Solvita Klavina-Makrecka notes that «tobacco smoke and exhaled smoke still contains all the hazardous substances contained in cigarettes. From a legal viewpoint, subjecting a child to cigarette smoke is equal to violence against children.»

«Nature has made children’s breathing much quicker than that of adults. This is why it turns out that children inhale much more hazardous substances per 1 kg of their body mass. In other words, cells of a child’s body receive all the bad things in an increased concentration than adult cells. On top of that, when smoking indoors, cigarette smoke lands on the floor, toys – everywhere. There isn’t a child in the world that hasn’t tasted their toys at some point in their life,» – says paediatric pulmonologist Renate Snipe of Children’s Clinical University Hospital.

«Statistic information is frightening. Things become even grimmer once we learn the number of children that die every year. Including deaths caused by cigarette smoke. First of all there is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Yes, the probability of this is increased if the infant remains in a room where someone smokes. Passive smoking weakens the child’s immune system, which leads to problems with respiratory system, slower growth and possible problems with the nervous system. As a result, children can become easily irritable, depressive and find it difficult to concentrate. This leads to poor performance in school and poor physical performance doing sports,» – warn organizers of ‘Avoid smokers’ campaign.

The main priority of the campaign is to raise awareness among adults about the dangers of passive smoking for their children. «If a mother smokes in the presence of her daughter in the first five years of her life, the risk of the daughter becoming a smoker later on in life significantly increases,» – says Dr. Snipe.

During the opening of the social campaign against smoking, Healthcare Minister Guntis Belevics said smoking in the presence of a child puts the child at risk of getting serious illnesses later on in life. Statistics show – 37% of the population are forced to breathe cigarette smoke in their homes. Among them are children as well.

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