Become a supporter of smoke-free air for everyone in Boonville! According to a recent report on air quality in Boonville:
- Smoking-allowed public places in Boonville had nearly 20 times the fine particulate matter air pollution of the smoke-free public places.
- Average air quality for a smoke-free public place was rated “good” by EPA standards, while that of smoking-allowed locations was “very unhealthy”.
The average particulate matter (PM) level for public places that allowed smoking was 20 times greater at 166 micrograms per cubic meter and considered “very unhealthy” by EPA standards. A full-time employee in one of these public places that allowed smoking would be exposed to 250 % the EPA’s average annual daily limit for PM air pollution. On average, it only took about 4 cigarettes in a place to create air pollution to the degree of being “very unhealthy” or 1/3 of a cigarette burning in a 100 cubic meter area.
According to the data collected during the study, only 7% of people were observed to be smoking at any given time, despite common misperception that a high percent of people smoke in restaurants, bars and other public places. This is less than 1/3 the adult smoking prevalence for Cooper County (which is 24.5%).
According to the Surgeon General “there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” In fact, there are a series of dramatic impacts to even being around secondhand smoke in any form:
- It contains more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds; including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 known carcinogens (cancer causing agents).
- Every exposure to it can have immediate effects on your health. The more you are exposed, the more your body is damaged.
- It increases non-smokers’ risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer; and causes over 35,000 heart disease and 3,000 lung cancer deaths.
- It has an immediate adverse impact on the cardiovascular system, damaging blood vessels, making blood more likely to clot and increase the risks for heart attack and stroke.
- Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.
- Exposing children increases their risk of asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia as well as sudden infant death syndrome. Even while in the womb a baby’s health can be affected. Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are more at risk for miscarriages, still-birth, and low birth weight infants.
Even a small amount of exposure can create damages to the circulatory system similar to that of an active pack-a-day smoker.
- Within 5 minutes: aorta stiffens as much as smoking a cigarette; your heart has to work harder to pump
- Within 20 minutes: blood platelets become sticky damaging your heart; can lead to blood clots
- Within 30 minutes: ability to handle LDL (bad) cholesterol is decreased
No feasible ventilation system can reduce secondhand smoke exposure to safe levels. At best, these specialized air filtration systems can only remove the irritants and odors caused by secondhand smoke. The only known ways of protecting people from secondhand smoke are to either contain smoking in a separate facility with a separate ventilation system or to have the facility be completely smoke free.
For more information concerning our Breathe Easy Boonville initiative, or information about how you can make your household smoke-free, please contact the Cooper County Public Health Center at 660-882-2626.